The United States categorically opposes the adoption of a protocol to the convention of banning biological and toxin weapons, which would establish a mechanism to verify compliance by member countries with their obligation not to produce such weapons, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
"The United States' reluctance to ensure transparency of its military-biological activities in different regions of the world, of course, raises questions about what is really happening and what goals are being pursued," Lavrov said during a news conference following an online meeting of foreign ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).
Lavrov said that since 2001, Russia, together with other countries, has advocated an agreement on the preparation of such a protocol.
He said that Russia has repeatedly drawn attention to the creation and development of biological laboratories all over the world, most of which work under the auspices of the Pentagon.
"These laboratories are densely formed along the perimeter of the borders of the Russian Federation, and, accordingly, next to the borders of the People's Republic of China," Lavrov said.
He added that the SCO is preparing an action plan to ensure sanitary and epidemiological safety -- specifically, biosafety -- with a summit to be held this year in St. Petersburg.