Lt. Gen. Igor Kirillov, the head of the Russian military’s radiation, chemical and biological protection force

Russia has called on the WHO leadership to investigate the activities of US-funded Nigerian laboratories located in different parts of Nigeria.

Russia’s Chief of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov made this known, during Russian Defense Ministry’s briefing slides on Friday

According to Igor Kirillov, two US-controlled biolaboratories operate in the city of Abuja; one in the city of Zaria, and another one in Lagos.

“Against the background of numerous cases of US violations of biosafety requirements and facts of negligent storage of pathogenic biomaterials, we call on the leadership of the World Health Organization to investigate the activities of US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria, Lagos and inform the world community about its results,” Kirillov said.

Kirillov noted that the WHO concluded that the current monkeypox virus originated in Nigeria, claiming that this is another state where the United States has placed its biological laboratories. He went on to state that according to the evidence available, the African nation holds at least four US-controlled Biolabs. Kirillov also cited media reports based on a 2021 Munich Security Conference-Nuclear Threat Initiative simulation modelling the spread of a bioengineered, highly lethal form of monkeypox, describing the exercise as “an odd coincidence” that requires further verification by specialists.

Kirillov further claimed that because of a lack of effective management and a violation of biosecurity standards in the United States, this disease might be exploited by terrorists. He continued by saying that between 2014 and 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration, the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases in Maryland, and the Center for Vaccine Research in Pennsylvania all uncovered unaccounted for vials containing the virus. He said that the activities of these labs breached the 1996 WHO resolution prohibiting the storage of smallpox’s causal agent in all but one US-based laboratory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

This comes few months after the Russian Defense Ministry claimed it had obtained documents that indict the US for sponsoring a Ukrainian bio-lab study of the possibility of transfer of African swine fever, anthrax through infecting birds, bats, reptiles.

Outbreak at glance

Since 13 May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been reported to WHO from 12 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across three WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing, however, reported cases thus far have no established travel links to endemic areas.

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