Russian Foreign Ministry praises BTWC on 40th anniversary

In honor of the recent 40th anniversary of the implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC), the Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement on Monday, praising the BTWC as the central binding document that bans the use, research and proliferation of biological weapons, as well as the weaponization of biological agents.

The ministry said Russia is committed to strengthening the convention and that it's willing to work with fellow BTCW members.

The convention was implemented on March 26, 1975, and was the first of its kind in banning the use of a whole segment of weapons of mass destruction. The Chemical Weapons Convention, implemented in 1997, followed in the BTWC's footsteps.

At the end of March, the African Union called on its member states to sign and ratify the BTWC. It said that the devastation from biological agents can be visualized with the current outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa. In its report, it said that an outbreak such as this has economic and security implications in the affected countries and the region, in addition to the impact on human health and life. With the BTWC in place, the hope is that an agent such as the Ebola virus would never be weaponized.