India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti emphasised to ensure full and effective implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) at the UNSC meeting.
New Delhi: India, at the UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting, highlighted the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as a non-discriminatory disarmament Convention, prohibiting an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.
"We believe that any matters relating to obligations under the BTWC should be addressed as per the provision of the Convention and through consultation and cooperation between the parties concerned," India's Permanent Representative to the United Nations TS Tirumurti said at the UNSC meeting.
The UNSC meeting was convened after Russia raised an alarm that the United States was funding biological weapons labs in Ukraine.
"It is important to ensure full and effective implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in letter and spirit," Tirumurti emphasised.
He also said, India sincerely hopes that ongoing direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine would lead to cessation of hostilities. "There's no other alternative except the path of diplomacy and dialogue," he said, adding, 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," Tirumurti added.
At the meet, the US representative said, "Ukraine does not have a biological weapons program. There are no Ukrainian biological weapons laboratories supported by the United States, not near Russia's border or anywhere."
Earlier this week, China and Russia accused the US of 'developing biological weapons' in Ukrainian laboratories bordering Russian territory.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova claimed that the components of the 'biological weapons' were being prepared in Ukraine. The same sentiment was echoed by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian later in the day.
However, Russia has said that the representatives of the United States have provided 'confusing information' on military biological activities in Ukraine. "Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland basically confirmed the fact that there were dangerous studies being conducted in Ukrainian laboratories."
The Russian representative also said, "We call upon you to think about a very real biological danger for people in European countries, which can result from an uncontrolled spread of bioagents from Ukraine. If there's such a scenario then all of Europe will be covered by it."
Ukraine has vehemently denied the charge. It's representative at the high table meet said, "By calling this meeting, the aggressor state has shot itself in foot once again. Ukraine runs a health system that is in full compliance with its international obligations."