OF THE FEDERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION
to the parliaments of the countries of the world on the need to strengthen the regime of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction
Deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation express extreme concern over the aggravation of risks for the biological safety of the population of all countries of the world without exception. Civilization has already faced the consequences of the irresponsible handling of dangerous bioagents.
This also includes the creation by a number of states beyond national borders of biolaboratories for the study of potential agents of biological weapons and for carrying out “dual-purpose” work. Often this leads to a significant deterioration of the epidemiological situation in the locations of such facilities.
To ensure equal and indivisible security, in particular in the field of biosecurity, the joint efforts of all responsible countries are necessary. First of all, strict implementation into national legislation and law enforcement practice of the provisions of the relevant international instrument that imposed a complete ban on a whole category of weapons of mass destruction, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (BTWC).
At the same time, the Convention needs consistent strengthening. The number of “gray zones” in its implementation is growing. With particular acuteness, the relevance of this became evident in connection with the revealed facts of US military biological activities in Ukraine that violate the BTWC. There is reason to believe that similar illegal activities are carried out by the American side in other biolaboratories around the world.
Deputies of the State Duma and members of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation appeal to the parliamentarians of the countries of the world with a call to draw the closest attention of national legislative bodies and inter-parliamentary associations to the need for joint efforts of the world community to urgently take measures to strengthen the BTWC. Parliamentarians are required to work together to create an appropriate atmosphere for the work of their governments in order to strengthen the BTWC.
The Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation is fully prepared for constructive discussions and meaningful interaction on this agenda.
Chairman of the State Duma
Chairman of the Federation Council
Proposals to strengthen the BTWC
The transboundary nature of biological threats dictates the need to take legislative measures at the national level to improve systems for preventing, responding to and eliminating the consequences of possible bioincidents. However, as the unhealthy activity of the United States in Ukraine shows, such steps are clearly not enough, especially when it comes to challenges related to the non-transparent unscrupulous military-biological activities of individual states.
Without proper implementation of the provisions of the BTWC, it is impossible to talk about the formation of a reliable international regime that would guarantee the deliverance of the world from real threats to biosecurity emanating from the irresponsible activity of some countries.
Concerted collective action to strengthen the Convention is called upon to become an integral part of global efforts to ensure international security, stability and prevent biological threats. This is in the interests of each of the countries, since it will prevent the emergence of ambiguities, suspicions and doubts among the BTWC member states and improve international cooperation in the field of peaceful biological activities.
We consider it critical to resume negotiations on the development and adoption of a legally binding Protocol to the Convention, which will provide an effective mechanism for verifying its implementation. Such work has been blocked by Washington since 2001.
We believe it is important to improve the annual reporting under the confidence-building measures under the Convention by including information on the military biological activities of countries carried out beyond national borders.
There is an urgent need to build an effective capacity under the Convention to analyze the completeness and sufficiency of confidence-building measures, taking into account advances in science and technology relevant to the BTWC.