U.S. slams Russia's gathering of UN Security Council as "waste of time"
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield slammed Russia on Thursday for convening a UN Security Council meeting "for the sole purpose of spreading disinformation."
Driving the news: Russia had called the meeting to advance allegations that the U.S. and Ukraine are partnering to develop biological weapons.
- The U.S. supports Ukrainian biological labs but maintains they are solely used to shore up public health and biodefense mechanisms.
- Russian officials recently drafted a Security Council resolution to form a 15-member commission charged with investigating claims of joint biological weapons, which have received little international backing, AP reports.
What she's saying: "While I believe this meeting is a colossal waste of time — and we should decide just how much of our time we allow Russia to waste — I am glad this Council has the chance to see Russia’s disinformation campaign for what it is: An attempt to distract from the atrocities Russian forces are carrying out in Ukraine and a desperate tactic to justify an unjustifiable war," Thomas-Greenfield said.
- "We hear Russia raise alarms that biological weapons will be delivered by birds and bats and now even mosquitoes ... Russia knows public health laboratories routinely study migratory animal species to assess and counter animal-borne pathogens," she noted.
- "Bear in mind, much like Russia, birds and bats don’t tend to observe or respect sovereign borders."
- "Russia’s assertions are absurd for many reasons, including because such species, even if they could be weaponized, would pose as much a threat to the European continent and to Ukraine itself as they would to any other country."
The big picture: Russian President Vladimir Putin declared martial law in four recently annexed regions of Ukraine last week.