Posted: 30.05.2023 13:27:00

Threat to all living things

What is considered as a threat to the biological security of Belarus according to the National Security Concept

A new aspect has appeared in the National Security Concept project — biological security. This term refers to the state of protection of the population, animals and plants, the environment from the impact of hazardous biological factors, which ensures an acceptable level of biological risk.

The President of Belarus,   Aleksandr Lukashenko,

“In the context of the growing relevance of biological security problems we suggest organising a session of the relevant coordinating council of authorised bodies of the organisation’s member states in Belarus. I am talking about biological security and about the organisation of an appropriate event in Minsk, but we have to honestly say something to each other after all. We often talk about biological labs. I think only Belarus and Russia don’t have them, but they exist in some CSTO countries… Biological security is no joke. We try to persuade each other while American labs or labs of other countries exist in some countries. Just like several labs have been found in Ukraine.”

During a plenary session of the CSTO Collective Security Council in Yerevan on November 23rd, 2022

Biosecurity is a significant aspect in the policy of any modern state. Biotechnology has long been used as a weapon. At the same time, the threat is posed not only by viruses artificially grown in laboratories (some countries, contrary to international agreements, conduct far from transparent military biological activities), but also, for example, infectious diseases that appear due to natural processes and human activities.
Although the WHO officially declared the end of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 5th, the risk of biological emergencies at the national, regional and global levels remains high. More and more researchers state that terrorist groups are adopting biotechnology. Since modern technology allows one to get information about the creation of various viruses almost at home. In this situation, it is extremely important to build a barrier system against this type of threat.

The main national interests in the biological aspect are:
• ensuring the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population, preventing unacceptable losses of agricultural animals and plants from infectious diseases and pests;
• development of controlled biotechnologies, ensuring compliance of food and plant products with national and international sanitary-epidemiological, veterinary-sanitary and phytosanitary requirements;
• regulation of the distribution and abundance of aggressive alien (invasive) species of animals and plants;
• strengthening international and regional biosecurity mechanisms.

Internal sources of threats to national security in the biological aspect are:
• sources of pathogens of infectious and parasitic diseases of humans, animals and plants;
• natural foci of infectious and parasitic diseases of humans and animals;
• products obtained through genetic engineering, synthetic biology and pathogens;
• organisations or other entities engaged in economic activities, research in biological, medical, veterinary, biotechnological, genetic engineering and other areas where leakage of pathogenic biological agents potentially dangerous to humans, animals, plants and the environment is possible;
• resistance to antimicrobial, antiviral and antiparasitic drugs.

External sources of threats to national security in the biological aspect are:
• emergencies associated with the emergence and spread outside the country of infectious and parasitic human diseases, animal and plant diseases, including new, rare, previously not encountered and (or) again returning to the territory of the Republic of Belarus;
• placement in neighbouring countries of facilities for carrying out work using pathogenic biological agents, opportunistic and pathogenic genetically engineered organisms, as well as fields for their cultivation in the territories bordering the Republic of Belarus;
• cross-border movement of people, goods with animals, plants, products of animal and plant origin, feed and biological products, genetically engineered organisms;
• import and (or) intentional distribution of invasive and quarantine species of animals and plants into the territory of the Republic of Belarus. 

In Belarus, there has been a stable situation with regard to dangerous infectious diseases over the past few years. Especially dangerous infections recorded for many centuries (plague, cholera, typhoid and typhus) are under control, smallpox has been eliminated. Effective vaccine prophylaxis has made it possible to reduce the incidence of a number of vaccine-preventable infections to threshold levels. Enormous funds have been spent to suppress the spread of HIV and parenteral hepatitis.

American entrepreneur Bill Gates recently said that he believes the next major threat we should be wary of will be bioterrorism. On this occasion, Interpol issued an official statement stating that individuals, terrorist groups and criminals have both the ability and the intention to use biological agents to harm society, the damage from which can reach unimaginable proportions, as well as sow panic among all humanity.

Igor Zavalei, a member of the House of Representatives,
“As technology advances, modern weapons become more aggressive. Biological supplies are also moving onto the stage of hostilities. Suffice it to recall the news about the publication of US biological laboratories on the territory of Ukraine. In addition, the Anglo-Saxons conduct biological research in other laboratories almost all over the world. Of course, we must see this and respond in a timely manner. In addition, the essence of the origin of the COVID-19 has not been put to rest. You can put forward as many hypotheses as you like, but in this situation, the statement of the President of Belarus about the global redistribution of the world and the place that we, as a country, will take after, sounds relevant. Therefore, in my opinion, the inclusion of biological security in the National Security Concept confirms the high level of modern risks, challenges and threats and corresponds to the latest trends.”

  By Svetlana Isaenok