The Chinese accused the U.S. of operating dangerous biolabs in Ukraine, echoing a Russian conspiracy theory that may be an attempt to justify the invasion of Ukraine.
Russia’s Major General Igor Konashenkov claims evidence was obtained showing that pathogens for deadly diseases such as the plague, anthrax and cholera were being created in Ukrainian laboratories funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The claims have been peddled on Russian news agency TASS.
“U.S. biolabs in Ukraine have indeed attracted much attention recently,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Tuesday in response to a question from a local reporter. He added that “all dangerous pathogens in Ukraine must be stored in these labs and all research activities are led by the U.S. side,” without providing evidence to back up the claim.
The Chinese spokesperson said the U.S. “should disclose specific information as soon as possible, including which viruses are stored and what research has been conducted.”
The false claims that there are U.S.-funded labs in Ukraine developing germ warfare capabilities have been pushed by Russia since 2018.
In May 2020, Ukraine refuted the disinformation campaign.
“No foreign biological laboratories operate in Ukraine. Statements recently made by individual politicians are not true and are a deliberate distortion of the facts,” a statement from the Security Service of Ukraine said.
Britain’s Defense Ministry supported the narrative of Russia creating a conspiracy theory to justify the invasion of Ukraine.