Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : How much more of Russia’s nonsense do we have to endure – UK Statement at the Security Council [October 2022]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 27 October 2022.

Statement by Ambassador Barbara Woodward at the Security Council briefing on Ukraine and Biological Weapons.

Thank you President, and thank you Mr Ebo for your very clear briefing. I’d like to start by reaffirming the United Kingdom’s deep commitment to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

On 24 February, Russia invaded Ukraine, an act of aggression in clear violation of international law, which the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to condemn.

Since then, the Russian Federation has repeatedly spread disinformation, including wild claims involving dirty bombs, chemical weapons, and offensive biological research.

How much more of this nonsense do we have to endure?

As we’ve heard, Russia’s allegations were given a full hearing last month, according to the processes set out under Article 5 of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention.

89 States Parties attended that meeting, and listened as Russia delivered nothing but misrepresentations of assorted public documents and copy-and-pasted images from Wikipedia.

The response from the other States Parties was clear and overwhelming:

that Russia must end its aggression and disinformation campaign against Ukraine; and
that Russia must stop demonising legitimate peaceful scientific and technical cooperation, which all BTWC States Parties have a right to participate in under Article 10 of the Convention, and which is rightly valued by many States Parties.
That process has now concluded. Russia’s claims have been heard, considered, and rejected. The bar has not been met for further investigation and proposals for further action would be a waste of this Council’s time. This Council is a serious body and risks being brought into disrepute by Russia’s actions.

There are plenty of issues that demand our attention but Russia is clogging up the agenda with conspiracy theories.

Instead of attempting to smear Ukraine, Russia should focus on its own obligations, including the UN Charter, and end this war.

Thank you President.