Russia May Be Planning To Use Chemical Weapons In Ukraine: NATO Chief

nato march16 lt

NATO has expressed concern that Russia may be planning to use chemical weapons in Ukraine under the pretext that Ukraine and NATO operate chemical and biological weapons labs in the country.

"They are making absurd claims about biological labs and chemical weapons in Ukraine," NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a press conference in advance of Wednesday's meeting of the alliance's defense ministers.

"This is just another lie. And we are concerned that Moscow could stage a false flag operation, possibly including chemical weapons," the NATO chief said.

The secretary general said Russia's false claims that Ukraine and NATO operate chemical and biological weapons labs raise the specter that Russia itself may be planning to use such weapons.

"The president of the United States and other allies also made very clear that if they use chemical weapons, there will be a high price to pay," he told reporters.

The meeting of NATO defense ministers will focus in part on a reset of NATO's military posture in the face of Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine, Stoltenberg said.

An extraordinary summit of the NATO heads of states and governments will be held next week to discuss ongoing deterrence and defense efforts in response to Russia's attack on Ukraine as well as to reaffirm the alliance's ironclad commitment to its member states.

U.S. President Joe Biden will join the leaders in Brussels on March 24.

"President Biden will also join a scheduled European Council Summit to discuss our shared concerns about Ukraine, including transatlantic efforts to impose economic costs on Russia, provide humanitarian support to those affected by the violence, and address other challenges related to the conflict," White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

At 11.45 AM Wednesday, Biden is scheduled to announce U.S. assistance to Ukraine. The Secretary of State, The Deputy Secretary of Defense, and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will attend the event.

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