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War Criminal, Bio Weapons: White House, Kremlin in new war of words

It all started Wednesday when US President Joe Biden called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a "war criminal"

Thursday March 17, 2022 11:46 PM, ummid.com with inputs from IANS

Biden and Putin

[Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in a file photo]

Moscow/Washington: Even as there is no sign of any breakthrough in peace talks between Russia and Ukraine, the Kremlin and White House are hurling allegations and counter allegations against each other that instead of easing the tension could further escalate the on-going war.

It all started Wednesday when US President Joe Biden called his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a "war criminal" and said the latter is "inflicting appalling devastation and horror on Ukraine".

Biden made the remarks while responding to a reporter's question at the White House on Wednesday, the BBC reported.

When the reporter asked the President is he was ready to call Putin a "war criminal", Biden responded by saying:

"Did you ask me whether I would tell ....? Oh, I think he is a war criminal."

Later in a tweet, Biden said: "Putin is inflicting appalling devastation and horror on Ukraine - bombing apartment buildings and maternity wards.

"Yesterday (Tuesday), we saw reports that Russian forces were holding hundreds of doctors and patients hostage. These are atrocities. It is an outrage to the world", he wrote.

 


Biden's remark did not go down well with Russia which while slamming Bide termed his words inadmissible and unforgivable.

"We believe such rhetoric to be unacceptable and unforgivable on the part of the head of a state, whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world," the BBC quoted Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying to Russia's state-run TASS News Agency.

Later in the evening the same day, Dmitry Peskov, Kremlin Press Secretary, termed "inadmissible and unforgivable" the words used by US President Joe Biden, and reminded him that hundreds of thousands of people around the world have been killed by US bombs.

The words of Biden, who called Putin a "war criminal", are "absolutely inadmissible, unacceptable, unforgivable", said Peskov, RT reported.

"Our President is a very wise, far-sighted and cultured international figure and the head of the Russian Federation," said Peskov while answering a question as to why Putin does not answer the American leader.

Biological Weapons

Amidst the outrage over Biden’s comments, the Russian Defense Ministry presented documents which it said confirm the cooperation between the United States and Ukraine in the production of biological weapons.

The department said that during the work, Ukrainian scientists identified six families of viruses, including coronaviruses, and three types of pathogenic bacteria.

In addition, according to the ministry, the Kharkiv Institute of Veterinary Medicine studied wild birds as carriers of highly pathogenic avian influenza, RT reported.

Also Read | Russia says over 30 labs in Ukraine working on 'deadly' bio weapons

Igor Kirillov, Chief of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces of the RF Armed Forces, held a briefing on the results of the analysis of documents related to the US military biological activities in Ukraine.

"We believe that components of biological weapons were created on the territory of Ukraine," he said.

According to him, this is evidenced by a document dated March 6, 2015, confirming the direct participation of the Pentagon in the financing of military biological projects in Ukraine, RT reported.

"According to established practice, American projects in the field of sanitary and epidemiological well-being in the territory of third countries, including Africa and Asia, are funded through national health authorities.

Also Read | After dirty bomb, now biological weapons - Russia's new accusation against Ukraine

"I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the Agreement on Joint Biological Activities was concluded between the US military department and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. However, the real recipients of the funds are the laboratories of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense located in Kiev, Odessa, Lvov and Kharkov. The total amount of financing amounted to $32 million," Kirillov added.

He noted that these biological laboratories were chosen by the project to study the pathogens of the Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, leptospirosis and hantaviruses, since these pathogens have natural foci in Ukraine and Russia.

"Their use can be disguised as natural disease outbreaks. That is why this project received additional funding, and the deadlines for its implementation were extended," said the representative of the Russian Defense Ministry, RT reported.

"During the implementation of these projects, six families of viruses (including coronaviruses) and three types of pathogenic bacteria (causative agents of plague, brucellosis and leptospirosis) were isolated. This is due to the main characteristics of these pathogens that make them attractive for infection purposes: drug resistance, rapid spread from animals to humans, and so on," Kirillov said.

 

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