India on Friday said that it is important to ensure full and effective implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in letter and spirit after reports emerged of biological activities in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations T.S. Tirumurti made these remarks during UNSC briefing on Ukraine.
"We have noted the recent statements by States and wider information regarding biological activities relating to Ukraine. In this context, we would like to underline the importance attached by India to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as a key global and non-discriminatory disarmament Convention, prohibiting an entire category of weapons of mass destruction," Tirumurti said.
“It is important to ensure full and effective implementation of the BTWC in letter and spirit,” he said.
He further noted that India also believes that any matters relating to obligations under the BTWC should be addressed as per the provisions of the Convention, and through consultation and cooperation between the parties concerned.
"We have repeatedly expressed serious concern over the ongoing situation in Ukraine…. "We sincerely hope the ongoing direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine would lead to cessation of hostilities."
He reiterated that there is no other alternative except the path of diplomacy and dialogue.
"The dire humanitarian situation needs immediate and urgent attention. We once again call upon member states to adhere to the principles of the UN Charter and international law and respect the sovereignty and integrity of states," he added.
Earlier, on Thursday, the Russian Defense Ministry said that U.S.-funded Biolabs in Ukraine worked on establishing a mechanism "for the covert transmission of deadly pathogens," Xinhua reported.
It further reported that the United States has dismissed Russia's accusation as "laughable," suggesting that Russia may be laying the groundwork to use a chemical or biological weapon.
However, on Tuesday, while testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Ukraine, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland admitted "Ukraine has biological research facilities," Xinhua reproted.