I would like to thank the Deputy High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Thomas Markram for his briefing.
Unsurprisingly, the UN Deputy High Representative repeated what we have heard again and again from the UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs here in the Security Council: “the United Nations is not aware of any biological weapons programmes in Ukraine”.
We are once more, witnessing the Russian Federation using the Security Council as a platform for blatant disinformation and to draw attention away from its unprovoked, unjustified, irresponsible and frankly brutal warfare in Ukraine.
Norway is a firm supporter of the Biological Weapons Convention, and we are determined, together with international partners. to uphold the total ban against biological weapons.
Therefore, let me be clear: allegations of violations of the BWC are extremely serious, and merit scrutiny. Yet, once again Russia has failed to offer any credible evidence for its accusations, providing us instead with unsubstantiated claims, and mere insinuations.
If Russia is serious about these accusations, they should use the proper procedure under the BWC, and provide fact-based evidence. In the meantime, we urge Russia to stop wasting this Council's time and resources on these meaningless meetings.
Let me end by reiterating Norway's condemnation of Russia’s war against Ukraine.
It is a blatant violation of international law, and the very principles of the UN Charter. We demand that Russia immediately ends its aggression, withdraws its troops, and stops causing death, suffering and destruction.