Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that Ukraine has become a “testing site for military biological experiments.”
While speaking at a meeting of security chiefs from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Putin described Ukraine as an “instrument of U.S. foreign policy.”
CIS is a regional grouping established in 1991 following the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Along with Russia, Belarus, Moldova, and six Central Asian countries are also members of CIS.
“The potential for conflict remains very high, both in the world as a whole and at the regional level,” Putin told attendees of the meeting.
“The world is changing and becoming multipolar before our very eyes,” the Russian president said, according to the Kremlin’s official transcript of his remarks.
Referring to Washington and other western capitals, Putin asserted that “some members of the international community” were doing “everything in their power to preserve their faltering hegemony.”
Putin accused the latter of resorting to “subversive actions,” citing recent acts of sabotage against the Nord Stream pipeline, which links Russian gas fields to Northern Europe via the Baltic Sea.
Late last month, the pipeline was intentionally destroyed in Swedish and Danish territorial waters.
The incident prompted a flurry of recriminations from Moscow and western governments.
Putin said the neutralization of the strategic pipeline amounted to “the destruction of the common European energy infrastructure.”
In recent months, dwindling inflows of Russian gas have led to surging energy prices.
The energy crisis is impacting households and businesses across Europe.
Putin said the recent acts of sabotage “are doing colossal damage to the European economy and are seriously impairing the quality of life for millions of people.”
“And besides, they are keeping silent about who has done this and who stands to gain from it,” he added.
In mid-October, Swedish, Danish, and German investigators concluded that the pipeline damage was caused by underwater explosions.
Soon afterward, Stockholm abruptly halted joint investigations, citing concerns over “national security.”
This week, however, Sweden’s military announced plans to conduct a separate investigation.
“I can’t comment on what we are looking for, why we are there, but we had the need to come back to do an additional search,” a Swedish military spokesman said on Wednesday.
Speaking to security chiefs in Moscow, Putin also brought up the situation in Ukraine.
He said the country had “lost its sovereignty” and had become “an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.”
Ukraine has become a “testing site for military biological experiments” and was being “flooded with weapons, including heavy weaponry,” he alleged.
In March, Moscow formally accused the U.S. of using Ukrainian laboratories for the development of biological weapons–a claim U.S. officials were quick to dismiss.
“There’s nothing to it,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said at the time.
“It’s classic Russian propaganda.”
The U.S. State Department, for its part, accused Russia of “inventing false pretexts in an attempt to justify its own horrific actions in Ukraine.”
This week, however, Russia appeared to double down on the claims.
On Tuesday, Russian news agency RIA Novosti reported that Moscow had asked the United Nations Security Council to establish a commission to look into alleged breaches by the United States and Ukraine of the U.N.’s Convention on Biological Weapons.