Pentagon not developing biological weapons in Kazakhstan
U.S.-spearheaded construction of the Central Reference Laboratory (CRL) that will work with strains of highly infectious diseases has been heavily criticized on numerous occasions. Some observers speculate that the laboratory will have a dubious purpose and might be used for development of biological weapons by the Pentagon.
Director of the Kazakh Scientific Center of Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases Bakhyt Atshabar has dispelled these groundless rumors: “There will be no development of biological weapons,” he declared to the journalist invited to the construction site of the CRL.
In terms of safety, Atshabar assured that the center that it being built in Almaty, the largest city of Kazakhstan, would be under increased security surveillance and the building itself would be able to withstand even a 9-magnitude earthquake.
The US involvement in the project was crucial in terms of financing and setting up the new center, as the Kazakhstani counterparts did not have the required experience of setting up such facilities in line with international standards.
The new facility will continue the work of the Kazakh Scientific Center of Quarantine and Zoonotic Diseases and will be funded by Pentagon.
The $100 million Reference Laboratory is expected to start working sometime next year. It will be used to isolate and study highly dangerous pathogens like plague, cholera, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, Siberian plague and many others. The research will be focused on finding cures and protection from the infectious diseases. The Ministry of Healthcare of Kazakhstan will solely manage the Center.