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Pentagon: No ‘imminent’ threat of chemical attack by Russia in Ukraine

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby (AP file photo)

The US military says there is no “imminent” threat of a chemical attack by Russia in Ukraine after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg sounded the alarm on the issue.

"We continue to watch this very very closely. It is of the Russian playbook that that which they accuse you of, they're planning to do now. Again, we haven't seen anything [that] indicates some sort of imminent chemical-biological attack right now, but we're watching this very very closely," Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said on Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

In an increasing propaganda offensive against Russia, the United States and its allies have claimed that Moscow could deploy chemical weapons in Ukraine.

Stoltenberg said in a German newspaper interview published on Sunday that Russia's recent claims against Ukraine of creating biological weapons may be a pretext for launching chemical weapons itself under a false flag operation.

"Now that these false claims have been made, we must remain vigilant because it is possible that Russia itself could plan chemical weapons operations under this fabric of lies," Stoltenberg told German newspaper Die Welt.

The NATO chief added that it would be a war crime if Russia deployed such weapons in Ukraine where it is carrying out a military operation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said his country is defending Russian-speaking communities through the "demilitarisation and de-Nazification" of Ukraine so that their neighbor became neutral and no longer threatened Russia.

Last week, British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss also said that London was "very concerned" that Russia may use chemical weapons in Ukraine.

“We’ve seen Russia use these weapons before in fields of conflict," Truss said, adding that it would be a "grave mistake on the part of Russia, adding to the grave mistakes that have already been made by Putin.”

US President Joe Biden on Friday warned that Russia would pay a severe price if it launched a chemical weapons attack during its ongoing military action in Ukraine.

“I'm not going to speak about the intelligence … but Russia would pay a severe price if they use chemical weapons," Biden said.

Stunning US admission

The United States on Tuesday made a stunning admission, saying that Ukraine hosts US-funded “biological research facilities."

US Under-Secretary of State for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland expressed concern during a Senate hearing on Ukraine after Russia published documents showing that Kiev was ordered to urgently eliminate traces of what was deemed as a biological weapons program, financed by the Pentagon.

Earlier, the Russian Defense Ministry said it had found evidence of US-funded biolabs in Ukraine.

The ministry said it had been closely monitoring the bioweapons programs that were developed by the Pentagon in post-Soviet countries, adding that according to new findings, a “network” of more than 30 biological laboratories was formed in Ukraine in particular.

The White House’s warning of the potential for Russia to use chemical weapons in Ukraine “has to be viewed as a warning that the US plans to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, and to then try to blame it on Russia,” according to American journalist and political analyst Don DeBar.

But, in an interview with Press TV on Thursday, DeBar warned that “they'll be making a severe miscalculation.”

“This statement from the White House, assuming Biden understood it or saw it before Jen Psaki made it, has to be viewed as a warning that the US plans to use chemical weapons in Ukraine, and to then try to blame it on Russia,” he pointed out.

“If they do that,” DeBar added, “they'll be making a severe miscalculation. No one in the world - except perhaps half, or less, of the American people - will believe it. And I'm not referring to that measure of public opinion which the New York Times or CNN or Reuters polls will show. I'm talking about what the actual people here will be willing to believe in the midst of their own suffering, with $5 to $10 a gallon gas and bread that's about to triple or quadruple in price.”



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