VIENTIANE, LAO PDR – We appreciate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for helping to facilitate today’s media availability, and we thank the many representatives of news organizations for gathering.
Last week, representatives from the Embassy of Russia subjected the people of Lao PDR to a stream of lies and disinformation regarding its illegal invasion of Ukraine.
Today, the U.S. Embassy would like to provide you with the facts regarding President Putin’s failing war of choice.
Here is the basic fact: Russia is carrying out a premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified attack on Ukraine, violating international law and creating a human rights and humanitarian crisis.
The war in Ukraine is a war that Russia chose, rejecting numerous good faith attempts at diplomacy.
President Putin’s war of choice has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee. Thousands of innocent civilians, including many children, have died, and more are dying every day that this war continues.
Russia under Vladimir Putin will make up any falsehoods necessary to distract from its failing war of choice.
I would like to highlight one false claim in particular: the Embassy of Russia’s false and baseless accusation last week about alleged U.S. biological weapons labs and chemical weapons development in Ukraine, an accusation leveraged without any evidence.
Russia’s claim is a lie.
The United States is in full compliance with its obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention and the Biological Weapons Convention and opposes the development and possession of chemical or biological weapons anywhere.
Russia has a long and well-documented record of using chemical weapons, including in attempted assassinations and poisonings. It is Russia that has long maintained a biological weapons program in violation of international law.
Russia also has a long history of accusing others of the very violations that Russia itself is perpetrating.
As you can see from the representatives gathered today, and from recent votes in the United Nations, the response to Russia’s war has been unity among world leaders.
The world is watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity, and who supports or does not oppose Putin in his war of choice.
Putin’s military plan to quickly capture Ukraine has failed. In the end, Russia will be weaker, not stronger, for launching this war.
The international community is more strongly agreed and focused on this issue than it has been in many years. We remain united with Ukraine and its people.