NATO fears that Russia is fabricating a pretext or a false flag operation with the aim of justify the use of chemical weapons in Ukraine, as explained by Jens Stoltenberg, secretary general of the Atlantic Alliance. Moscow, which since the beginning of the war has changed its ‘casus belli’ against Ukraine several times, has spent days mobilizing its propaganda machinery to spread the hoax that the United States had biological laboratories on Ukrainian territory for the development of chemical weapons. Stoltenberg has described these remarks as “absolute lies” and has expressed his fear that they could serve as leverage for the Kremlin to use this prohibited arsenal.
It is known in the Alliance that Russia has used false flag operations on several occasions – that is, carried out by the Russians themselves, but of which Moscow accuses Kiev – with the aim of justifying the use of force. The allies, therefore, do not rule out a similar ploy around chemical weapons. “During this crisis, they have tried to create false flag operations to intervene. Now, they accuse Ukraine of developing chemical weapons and we see the possibility that they are thinking of doing it themselves”, explained the Norwegian.
The secretary general has recalled that the Kremlin has used chemical weapons before, as well as “chemical agents to attack and kill political opponents”, such as when in 2018 Russian secret service agents used Novichok gas to try to assassinate Sergei Skripal on British soil . In 2020, the same nerve agent was used to poison Alexei Navalni, the opposition leader against President Vladimir Putin, who recovered in Germany before returning to Russia and being arrested. In addition, Soltenberg has pointed to the extensive use that has been made of chemical weapons in the civil war in Syria, where Russia has played a key role in supporting the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. In particular, the 2013 attack with sarin, a nerve agent, in Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, is remembered, and it is believed that killed about 1,400 people.
Stoltenberg’s warning is not new. On March 9, the White House spokeswoman already pointed out that it was necessary to “be alert to the possibility that Russia uses chemical or biological weapons in Ukraine or creates a false flag operation using them.” These guns are illegal under the Chemical Weapons Convention, to which Russia has been a party since 1997.
Alicia Alamillos. Lviv (Ukraine)
“Russia assured that it was not going to invade and it did. She claimed that she was withdrawing and sent more soldiers. She claims that she is protecting civilians, but she is killing them”, Stoltenberg criticized. On whether the use of chemical weapons would provoke a response from NATO, the secretary general has assured that he does not want to “speculate” on what type of response the Alliance would have, although both he and the US they have ruled out that they will enter the conflict in any way.
Stoltenberg has also spoken of the need for Beijing to avoid any type of support for Russia, such as that which the United States has been denouncing in recent hours. “China should join the rest of the world in condemning the brutal invasion. China has an obligation as a member of the Security Council to uphold international law”, declared the secretary general at a press conference held before a meeting of defense ministers of the Atlantic Alliance that will take place this Wednesday in the community capital. The Norwegian has indicated that the allies they are monitoring any help that Beijing may offer to Moscow.