On Wednesday, the U.S. warned Russia in opposition to utilizing chemical or organic weapons in Ukraine because the battle nears the tip of its third week.
A press release attributed to National Security Council spokesperson Emily Horne mentioned that National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke Wednesday with General Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of the Russian Security Council, “to reiterate the United States’ firm and clear opposition to Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine.”
“Mr. Sullivan also warned General Patrushev about the consequences and implications of any possible Russian decision to use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine,” the assertion learn.
Russia has been spreading an unproven conspiracy idea that the U.S. is funding organic weapons labs inside Ukraine. That declare has been repeated by China and has gained traction amongst some far-right teams and people within the U.S.
But some U.S. officers have warned that Russia’s claims could also be laying the groundwork for a extra sinister act of aggression in opposition to Ukraine. White House press secretary Jen Psaki warned on Twitter final week that Russia might use the weapons labs idea responsible the U.S. for a possible chemical or organic weapons assault.
“Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them. It’s a clear pattern,” Psaki’s tweet learn.
CIA Director William Burns gave an analogous warning whereas testifying to the Senate Intelligence Committee final week, Newsweek beforehand reported.
“This is something, as all of you know very well, is very much a part of Russia’s playbook,” Burns mentioned. “They’ve used these weapons against their own citizens, they’ve at least encouraged the use in Syria and elsewhere, so it’s something we take very seriously.”
The chemical and organic weapons conspiracy theories from Russia have additionally gone past allegations of U.S.-funded labs. One idea, for instance, accuses the U.S. of coaching birds in Ukraine to unfold lethal illnesses in Russia. Another accuses the U.S. of experimenting with “bat coronavirus” to create organic weapons inside Ukraine.
The U.S. State Department dismissed the claims as “outright lies” and “total nonsense” in a press release on March 9. The assertion, attributed to spokesperson Ned Price, mentioned that Russia “is inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine” and distracts from the truth that Russia “has active chemical and biological weapons programs”
“Finally, Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very crimes that Russia itself is perpetrating. These tactics are an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attacks on Ukraine,” it added.
Newsweek has reached out to Russia’s Foreign Ministry for remark however didn’t hear again by publication time.
Follow Newsweek’s stay weblog for updates on the Russia-Ukraine battle.
Update 3/16/22, 12:50 p.m. ET: This story was up to date with extra data and background.