Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Global Conference on Bioweapons Faces Risks Related to Russia and Ukraine

Hundreds of diplomats and health security experts are gathering in Geneva to grapple with the increasing risk that viruses, bacteria and other pathogens could be used as weapons. But Russia’s presence threatens to undercut their efforts. Russia’s campaign alleging that the US has supported secret biological weapons laboratories in Ukraine is likely to undermine negotiations at a conference geared toward strengthening the Biological Weapons Convention, the first global disarmament treaty that sought to ban an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. (https://news.yahoo.com/russia-ukraine-claims-risk-thwarting-050100451.html) For the first time in six years, representatives from the US, Russia, China and other countries are gathering at Geneva’s Palais des Nations starting Monday to review the treaty, which is seen as lacking the geopolitical and scientific muscle needed to verify whether nations have violated it. But health security experts say they fear that Russia will use the three-week conference as a platform to again peddle contentions intended to sow distrust in the US and Ukraine.

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