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World Vladimir Putin's Adviser Says U.S. Is Developing Biological Weapons Near Russia

14:45  08 april  2021
14:45  08 april  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief security adviser has said Moscow has "good reason to believe" the U.S. is developing biological weapons along the borders of Russia and China.

Nikolai Patrushev wearing a suit and tie: Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev (L) looks at President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow in 2015. © SERGEI KARPUKHIN/Getty Images Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev (L) looks at President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin in Moscow in 2015.

Nikolai Patrushev, who is the secretary of Russia's Security Council, made the comments during a part of an interview with the newspaper Kommersant, in which journalist Elena Chernenko asked him about claims that China had "deliberately caused" the coronavirus pandemic.

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Defending Beijing, Patrushev replied: "I suggest that you look at how more and more biological laboratories under U.S. control are growing considerably in the world and by a strange coincidence, mainly by the Russian and Chinese borders."

Russia shares land borders with 16 countries—the most of any nation in the world. China shares frontiers with 14 countries, as well as the special administrative region of Hong Kong. Patrushev did not name any specific countries, but said: "Americans help local scientists develop new ways to fight dangerous diseases."

"We and our Chinese partners have questions. We are told that there are peaceful sanitary and epidemiological stations near our borders, but for some reason, they are more more reminiscent of Fort Detrick in Maryland, where Americans have been working in the field of military biology for decades."

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He added that the authorities in those jurisdictions "have no real idea of ​​what is happening within their walls," and that there were outbreaks "uncharacteristic for these regions" in neighboring areas—although he did not specify any disease.

When asked directly if he believed the Americans are developing biological weapons there, Patrushev replied: "We have good reason to believe that this is exactly the case." Newsweek has contacted the U.S. State Department for comment.

In the wide-ranging interview, Patrushev then went on to reject accusations Russia developed and used chemical weapons, including against the former spy Sergei Skripal and Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny.

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"There is zero evidence," said Patrushev, who was formerly the director of Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB), "only speculation."

Patrushev also criticized President Joe Biden's affirmative response in an ABC interview last month that Putin was a "killer," comparing it to former British prime minister Winston Churchill's Fulton speech in March 1946 "in which he declared our country...an enemy."

"This marked the start of the Cold War," Patrushev said, adding that "we would really not want" any increase in hostilities, however he suggested Biden's comment may not have been his fault.

"It cannot be ruled out that the American president was deliberately provoked to such a statement by circles interested in increasing tensions in our bilateral relations."

Meanwhile, the Kremlin did not expect an apology from the U.S, for the "killer" comment. "As experience shows, Americans, in principle, are not able to admit their guilt under any circumstances," Patrushev said.

Despite his repeated criticism of the U.S. in the interview, which included taking swipes at its COVID response and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) matter movement, Patrushev was still optimistic that Moscow could work with Washington, citing the deal to extend the New START nuclear arms treaty as an example of cooperation.

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"We believe that common sense will prevail in Washington and a substantive Russian-American dialogue can start on issues that, in principle, cannot be effectively resolved without constructive interaction between our countries."

The graphic below provided by Statista shows the tenure of Russian president Vladimir Putin.

timeline: Vladimir Putin's reign in Russia. Statista © Statista Vladimir Putin's reign in Russia. Statista

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