Russia’s ambassador to Washington accused the Americans on Saturday of trying to “demonize” Moscow, rejecting a US State Department allegation that his country may deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“The US official, as always, did not bother to provide any evidence. This is another attempt to demonize our country,” Anatoly Antonov said, adding that such claims were “not worth a penny.”
Citing a paper from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the official then suggested that Ukrainian “radical groups” – allegedly “[trained] under the control of the representatives of American special services” – could have themselves “prepared several potential scenarios of the use of toxic chemicals in order to carry out various types of provocations.”
“Our country, unlike the United States, eliminated all available stocks of chemical warfare agents in 2017. This fact has been documented by the OPCW. It is pointless to argue with this fact,” Antonov concluded, in reference to the fact that US chemical warfare stockpiles have yet to be completely decommissioned.
The Russian government has claimed that Ukrainian groups backed by the US could be preparing a false-flag chemical attack in order to “accuse Russia of the use of chemical weapons against the civil population and violating its obligations.” The US and Ukraine have denied such claims.
State Department spokesperson Ned Price suggested on Wednesday that Russia could use chemical weapons in Ukraine.
“Russia has a track record of accusing the West of the very crimes that Russia itself is perpetrating,” he said, calling Moscow’s warnings “an obvious ploy.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki claimed this week that Russia could “use chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine” or “create a false-flag operation” with such weapons. Psaki added that the world should “be on the lookout.”
Psaki dismissed Moscow’s suggestions that the US and Ukraine could conduct a similar false-flag attack, calling them “false claims” and “conspiracy theories.”
The press secretary argued that Moscow’s claims were an “obvious ploy” to justify further military action in Ukraine.
Russia’s Foreign Ministry claimed on March 6 that Russian forces had discovered evidence of Ukraine erasing traces of an alleged US-backed military biological program in the country. Washington has claimed it is working to prevent Russian forces from capturing biological research material.