Kazakh MFA: No biological weapons development is underway in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan Materials 3 May 2020 03:20 (UTC +04:00)
Kazakh MFA: No biological weapons development is underway in Kazakhstan

The Foreign Affairs Ministry of the Republic of Kazakhstan has issued a statement on the issues of biological security of the country, Trend reports citing Kazinform.

«Kazakhstan fully implements all its international obligations and rightfully maintains an impeccable reputation. Regular inspections of the IAEA and the OPCW are carried out, and voluntary CBM’s reports are provided annually under the BTWC, Biosecurity issues are an integral part of the general national security system.

Unfortunately, there are natural hotbeds of dangerous infections for humans and animals in Kazakhstan, such as plague, tularemia, brucellosis and others. This makes it extremely important to develop production and research infrastructure to ensure the protection of health of population.

Back in 1948, the Central Asian Research Anti-Plague Institute was established in Kazakhstan. Now it is the National Scientific Center of Especially Dangerous Infections named after M.Aikimbayev (NSCEDI) in Almaty. Over the years, a national scientific school was created and unique researches are conducted. The construction of the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) at the NSCEDI has become one of major instruments for strengthening biological security, national scientific and production potential. The CRL was created as part of the WMD Infrastructure Elimination Agreement between Kazakhstan and the United States.

Funding was provided through the US Department of Defense under the Nunn-Lugar Program, which made a significant contribution to strengthening the WMD nonproliferation regime in Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.

The laboratory is a 4-storey building with biosafety level (BSL) 2 and 3. The CRL is fully owned by the Republic of Kazakhstan and is currently funded solely from the republican budget. The entire staff consists of domestic specialists. Any work carried out by the CRL is controlled by the ministries of health, education and science, agriculture of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Its activity is focused on ensuring biological safety and security in Kazakhstan, carrying out fundamental and applied research.

We declare responsibly that no biological weapons development is underway in Kazakhstan, no research is conducted against any other states. The CRL significantly strengthened the scientific potential of Kazakhstan, increased the safety of research. The presence of such high-tech facilities reflects the level of development of the state and its ability to respond adequately to biological threats.

Now that the healthcare system of the Republic of Kazakhstan is focused on fighting COVID-19, CRL makes an important contribution to reducing the spread of the disease. The laboratory has developed domestic test systems to detect a new infection. Recognizing the cross-border nature of biological threats, Kazakhstan is open to international cooperation, including on the basis of the CRL.

We consistently support the adoption of a legally binding document on verification and monitoring of biological activities within the framework of the BTWC. In the context of globalization, when any biological threat can spread rapidly around the world, open and constructive interstate cooperation should become the norm of responsible behavior,» the statement reads.