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Zelensky warned Russia that use of biological weapons against Ukraine will invite “severe sanctions”.New Delhi: No chemical weapon or any other weapons of mass destruction Ukraine were developed in Ukraine, the country’s President said today, warning Russia that the use of biological weapons against his country will invite the “most severe sanctions”.President Volodymyr Zelensky reaction came after Russia accused his country of conducting research into the development of biological weapons.”I am the President of an adequate country, an adequate nation. And the father of two children. And no chemical or any other weapons of mass destruction were developed on my land,” Zelensky said in a video posted on Friday morning.”The whole world knows that. You know that. And if Russia do something like that against us, it will get the most severe sanctions response,” he said.In a televised briefing on Thursday, Russian defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov had said that the purpose of the research – which it said was funded by the US – was to establish a mechanism for the stealthy spread of deadly pathogens.”Konashenkov claimed the ministry had obtained documents detailing US military-biological activities in Ukraine, including on the transfer of Ukrainians’ biomaterial abroad.He said Washington “planned to carry out research on bird, bat and reptile pathogens”, as well as on African swine fever and anthrax. “Bio-laboratories set up and funded in Ukraine have been experimenting with bat coronavirus samples,” Konashenkov added.Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in a press conference later Thursday following talks with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba repeated the claim, saying Washington had funded development of biological weapons in Ukraine.”The Americans carried out this work in complete secrecy. Just like how they work in other former Soviet states, creating their military-biological labs right along Russia’s borders,” he said.Both Washington and Kyiv have denied the existence of laboratories intended to produce biological weapons in the country, which has faced a Russian assault by tens of thousands of troops since February 24.Russia has repeatedly accused the United States of secretly carrying out biological experiments in a lab in Georgia, another former Soviet republic, which like Ukraine aims to join NATO and the European Union.(With inputs from AFP)

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