Kazakhstan has become "willingly or unwillingly" caught in the blame game over the source of the novel coronavirus pandemic by hosting U.S. military labs, according to Ehonews.kz, a privately owned Kazakh website.
The U.S. helped to upgrade the Soviet-era biological labs in Kazakhstan after the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to BBC Monitoring, a division of the British broadcaster. It's alleged that the labs are developing bio-weapons for use against countries such as Russia and China.
In an article posted on May 12, Ehonews.kz described the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) in Almaty opened in 2016, a lab in Otrar, and the Biological Security Research Institute in southern Zhambyl Region as "a number of large U.S. military biological facilities" involved in U.S. Department of Defense projects.
Ulugbek Babakulov, a political analyst, told Ehonews.kz, "The Americans have long been working in Kazakhstan on collecting dangerous viruses." In the secret and powerful CRL, they have been developing new strains of biological weapons in a location far removed from the U.S. and without the Kazakh authorities' knowledge since 2016.
"Besides, the labs in Almaty and Otar are geographically closer to the Chinese and Russian borders—Washington's potential enemies," Babakulov said.
Another analyst, Tagir Bairov, said in the report that the Kazakh Government should "correct its policy regarding such U.S. operations in our territory."
"We cannot take U.S. military and semi-military facilities and organizations as some kind of a guarantor of independence and as a deterrent. Such attitudes are harmful and a dangerous game because the old multi-vector policy in the changed international circumstances is no longer working and is approaching a dead end," Bairov said.
According to him, getting involved in the growing global conflict between the superpowers is extremely dangerous for Kazakhstan.
"Real sovereignty is achieved not through allowing deployment of forces and facilities of countries which have tense and hostile relations with your own neighbors and allies, but through conducting really independent internal and external policies," Bairov added.
(Source: BBC Monitoring)
Copyedited by Sudeshna Sarkar
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