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bio lab worker

TEHRAN (FNA)- Military-biological activities by Washington and its allies in the CIS countries pose a direct threat to biological security, namely, to public health and the environment, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference following his visit to Uzbekistan on Friday.

"Our joint work [with the CIS countries] for neutralizing threats to the security of our countries is of particular importance. There are threats of terrorism and threats posed by military-biological activities in our space by the United States and its allies, which create very dangerous precedents in terms of biological security. Also, there is a direct threat to public health and the environment," he said, TASS reported.

The State Duma and the Federation Council in March 2022 passed a resolution to conduct a parliamentary investigation of the biolaboratories in Ukraine.

Earlier, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman Igor Konashenkov said that during the special military operation in Ukraine, Russian forces unearthed evidence pointing to an emergency cleanup by the Kiev regime of traces of a military biological program, carried out in Ukraine and bankrolled by the US Department of Defense. According to Konashenkov, staff from these Pentagon-run Ukrainian-based labs revealed the emergency disposal of particularly dangerous pathogens on February 24, namely, plague, anthrax, tularemia, cholera and other deadly diseases.

US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland on March 9, 2022, speaking at a hearing at the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Senate, said that there were facilities in Ukraine that did research in the field of biology and that Washington was trying to prevent them from falling under the control of Russian forces. She said the Department of State was "concerned that the Russian military may be trying to take control of them", and is working with Ukraine to ensure that Kiev can "prevent any of these research materials from falling into the hands of Russian forces".

The Russian Defense Ministry stated that in fact Nuland had confirmed the Pentagon’s involvement in biological programs in Ukraine.

Earlier, the Russian embassy in Armenia also said that there were "organizations involved in bio-projects in Ukraine".

Yerevan denies the existence of biolaboratories using the services of US Department of Defense personnel. According to the Armenian government, all "biolaboratories operate in accordance with the legislation and in the interests of the republic and employ only Armenian citizens".

Russia’s trade with the CIS countries is growing despite the prospects of secondary sanctions from the United States and the European Union, Lavrov added.

"Despite threats from the United States and the European Union to all our partners not to cooperate with Russia and Belarus under the fear of so-called secondary sanctions and other types of punishment, trade in the CIS is growing. Last year it rose by over 6% and its volume surpassed $100 bln," he added.

The Minister stated that the present projects and plans, including those for the CIS Council of Heads of Government meeting on June 8, "suggest a focus on promising developments of modern technologies, primarily in areas that are critical for each state".

Earlier, CIS Secretary General Sergey Lebedev stated that the meeting of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) heads of government will be held in Sochi on June 7-8. He stated that the meeting's agenda is extensive, with the primary issue being an agreement on free trade in services, according to Russia.