May 26, 2022
An image of Russia's Ambassador to Kenya, Dmitry Maksimychev.
  • Russia on Wednesday, May 11, raised questions about a biolab in Kenya allegedly funded by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) – an entity directly linked to the American government.

    In a statement by the Russian Embassy in Kenya, the lab stationed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) is among facilities established by DTRA across the world including Ukraine.

    Russia now questions whether the lab, which was established in 2021, was harmless or was developed for a sinister motive including biological warfare as those in its neighbouring country.

    An image of Russia’s Ambassador to Kenya, Dmitry Maksimychev.
    Russian Embassy in Kenya

    “Reports indicate that Kenya is one of the countries where the DTRA, the agency that funded labs in Ukraine, has put up a biolab at the KEMRI,” read the statement in part.

    President Vladimir Putin’s administration further queried whether the operation of the lab was in synchrony with the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) under the United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA).

    BWC is a multilateral treaty banning an entire category of weapons of mass destruction. It prohibits the development, production, acquisition, transfer, stockpiling and use of biological and toxin weapons.

    “…microbial or other biological agents, or toxins whatever their origin or method of production, of types and in quantities that have no justification for prophylactic, protective or other peaceful purposes. (2) Weapons, equipment or means of delivery designed to use such agents or toxins for hostile purposes or in armed conflict “reads Article 1 of the convention.

    If Russia deems the lab a threat, it can escalate the matter with the United Nations Security Council as provided for in Article 6 of the treaty

    “Any State Party which finds that any other State Party is acting in breach of obligations deriving from the provisions of the Convention may lodge a complaint with the UNSC. A complaint should include all possible evidence confirming its validity, as well as a request for its consideration by the Security Council,” reads Article 6.

    The DTRA is a combat support agency within the US Department of Defense, which also works with international partners to counter weapons of mass destruction.

    This is the second time that Moscow has taken issue with Nairobi following its invasion of Ukraine. On February the Russian Embassy called out t State House Spokesperson Kanze Dena for linking the high cost of living to the war.

    While Kenya has tried not to take sides with either of the countries, Ukraine has asked the government to step in and help. The latest development was the unveiling of a pay bill number to mobilize funds for Ukrainian citizens affected by the war.

    Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Headquarters in Nairobi
    Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Headquarters in Nairobi
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