NATO Chief Says Russia May Use Chemical or Biological Weapons in Ukraine

NATO Chief Says Russia May Use Chemical or Biological Weapons in Ukraine
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg talks with soldiers during a visit of the Adazi military base, north east of Riga, Latvia, on March 8, 2022. (Toms Norde/AFP via Getty Images)

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned on March 13 that Russia might use chemical or biological weapons in the fight with Ukraine, which the head of the alliance said would amount to a war crime.

“In recent days, we have heard absurd claims about chemical and biological weapons laboratories,” Stoltenberg said during an interview with German newspaper Welt am Sonntag, adding that he believes the Kremlin is trying to create a false pretext to justify the unjustifiable.

Stoltenberg’s warning came as Russian officials claimed on March 7 that the U.S. military has been involved with the development of chemical or biological weapons in laboratories across Ukraine, a project backed by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, an agency within the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD).

“Now that these false claims have been made, we must remain vigilant because it is possible that Russia itself could plan chemical weapons operations under this fabrication of lies. That would be a war crime,” the NATO head said.

On March 6, the Russian Ministry of Defense issued a statement on Telegram accusing Ukraine of having destroyed pathogens being studied at a lab in Ukraine that the ministry says is funded by the DoD.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has dismissed these claims as “preposterous,” saying they are exactly “the kind of disinformation operation we’ve seen repeatedly from the Russians over the years in Ukraine and in other countries, which have been debunked.”

“This is all an obvious ploy by Russia to try to justify its further premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine,” Psaki said on March 9. “Now that Russia has made these false claims, and China has seemingly endorsed this propaganda, we should all be on the lookout for Russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine, or to create a false flag operation using them.”

The Chinese regime also appeared to repeat Russia’s allegations about the biological laboratories on March 7. A U.S. State Department spokesperson told The Epoch Times that the allegation is “Russian propaganda and total nonsense.”

Meanwhile, Poland’s President Andrzej Duda told the BBC on March 13 that if Russia should use chemical weapons in Ukraine, the move would be a game-changer and NATO would have to think seriously about how to respond.

“Everybody’s hoping that this is not going to happen. But as we say in Poland, using a little bit of an English expression, if [President Vladimir Putin] uses any weapons of mass destruction, then this will be a game-changer in the whole thing,” Duda said, adding that NATO leaders will have “to sit at the table and … really have to think seriously what to do” if the situation escalates to these heights.

Mimi Nguyen Ly and Reuters contributed to this report.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.