Moscow considers U.S. decision on Russian research institutes groundless
Moscow considers the United States’ decision to add two research institutes of the Russian Defense Ministry and the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology to its blacklist to be groundless and will ask for clarification from Washington, Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Anatoly Antonov said.
The notice by the Bureau of Industry and Security of the U.S. Department of Commerce argued that the U.S. authorities had reason to suspect Russian research institutes of having links with the chemical and biological weapons program.
"Yes, we certainly paid attention to the mentioned announcement of the US authorities. It seems confusing to us. Especially since no evidence were presented. Familiar vague terms are used such as ‘there is a reasonable cause to believe," TASS cited Antonov as saying.
"Furthermore, the fact was ignored that Russia’s full compliance with the respective Convention’s obligations regarding the destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles was confirmed by the international community in 2017 represented by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW). We would like to receive some clarifications from our colleagues regarding these groundless allegations," the embassy quotes him as saying on its Facebook page.
The diplomat recalled that "today the United States remains the only possessor of the significant stockpiles of chemical warfare agents and delays their elimination under various pretexts."
"We call upon the U.S. side to stop searching problems where they do not exist and do its best to achieve chemical demilitarization as soon as possible," the ambassador said.
The U.S. Department of Commerce earlier blacklisted the 33rd Central Research and Testing Institute and the 48th Central Research Institute of the Russian Defense Ministry, as well as the Moscow State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology. The notice specified that, in the case of the 48th Central Research Institute, restrictive measures will apply to all of its three facilities in Sergiev Posad, Yekaterinburg and the Kirov Region.
The document stated that the U.S. authorities had reason to suspect the 33rd Central Research Institute of having links with the Russian chemical program and the chemical weapons test site. It also alleged that the State Research Institute of Organic Chemistry and Technology had links with the Russian chemical weapons program and the 48th Central Research Institute - with the Russian biological weapons program.