India on Friday took a strong stance and said that it is important to ensure full and effective implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) in a letter after emerging reports of biological activities relating to Ukraine. India’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations T.S. Tirumurti made these remarks during the UNSC briefing on Ukraine amid allegations by Russia of biological programs by the US.

T.S. Tirumurti took to Twitter and shared a letter, “We have noted the recent statements by States and wider information regarding biological activities relating to Ukraine. In this context, we would like to underline the importance attached by India to the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) as a key global and non-discriminatory disarmament Convention, prohibiting an entire category of weapons of mass destruction.”

It is important to ensure full and effective implementation of the BTWC in letter and spirit. The Indian envoy said that India also believes that any matters relating to obligations under the BTWC should be addressed as per the provisions of the Convention, and through consultation and cooperation between the parties concerned.

“We have repeatedly expressed serious concern over the ongoing situation in Ukraine. We sincerely hope the ongoing direct negotiations between Russia and Ukraine would lead to cessation of hostilities,” the statement said.

He further highlighted that there is no other alternative except the path of diplomacy and dialogue. “The dire humanitarian situation needs immediate and urgent attention. We once again call upon member states to adhere to the principles of the UN Charter and international law and respect the sovereignty and integrity of states,” he added.

This comes after the Russian Defense Ministry said earlier this week that US-funded Biolabs in Ukraine are working on developing a mechanism for covert transmission of deadly pathogens.

Though India has maintained a neutral stand against all the sessions against Russia and has abstained from voting against them thrice in the UNSC.

About BTWC treaty:

Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) is a treaty that prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling, and use of biological weapons and the treaty came into force in 1975. The treaty prohibiting bioweapons has 183 signatories, including the United States, Russia, and Ukraine.