- Russia says monkeypox virus originated from the “offensive” laboratories located in Abuja, Lagos and Zaria
Russia has called on the WHO leadership to investigate the activities of US-funded Nigerian laboratories in Abuja, Zaria and Lagos, Chief of Russian Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Force Igor Kirillov said on Friday.
Russia claims that there are at least four US-operated biological laboratories in Nigeria from where the monkeypox virus was spread.
“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.
He recalled that according to the WHO report, the West African strain of the monkeypox pathogen came from Nigeria, another state in which the US has deployed its biological infrastructure.
“According to available information, there are at least four Washington-controlled biolaboratories operating in Nigeria,” the official stressed.
According to the Defense Ministry’s briefing slides, two US-controlled biolaboratories operate in the city of Abuja, one in the city of Zaria, and another one in Lagos.
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.
The accusations is coming months after Russia accused the United States of having biological laboratories in Ukraine.