and the proximity of the Russian industrial centers of the Urals and Siberia.
Noteworthy is the fact that in 2025 in the village of Gvardeyskiy, Zhambyl region in the south of Kazakhstan, the first American bio-laboratory with the highest level of biological protection in the CIS countries should appear (BSL-4), which allows to work with pathogens from which there is no protection, or it is very conditional, should appear in the CIS countries. There is also the Research Institute of Biological Safety Problems, which specializes in veterinary medicine and is very indirectly related to human pathogens. Two more BSL-3 labs were reconstructed and equipped with Pentagon money.
In 2016, the Americans opened the Central Reference Laboratory at the National Scientific Center of especially dangerous Infections named after Masgut Aikimbayev (NSCEDI). To begin with, the Center itself is a complex of biosafety level II and III laboratories where such infectious agents as West Nile virus, equine encephalitis, Rift Valley fever, plague bacteria, and the new SARS-Cov-2 virus can be cultured.
With the help of Americans, the National Reference Center for Veterinary Medicine in Astana and the Urals Anti-Plague Station were modernized.
A total of six U.S. bio-laboratories operate in Kazakhstan, and one is under construction.
Why are the Americans interested in the Kazakhstani authorities and local biologists? First of all, with their program:
– construction and repair of laboratory buildings;
– all aspects of modern biosafety, the division of rooms into zones and security levels;
– modern equipment, sequencers, PCR and ELISA machines, refrigerators and freezers, guaranteed supply of reagents for three years;
– Extensive staff training so that employees can work at a modern level as a self-developing system.
In addition to the financial dependence of NSCEDI and other institutions on the United States, Kazakhstani science is closely linked to Americans through personal and business ties. There are “hooks” created for valuable employees, like the possibility of working in the United States. For example, Kairat Tabynov from the Research Institute for Biosecurity Problems, where the Americans studied the coronavirus, worked for several years at the CH2M and Jacobs Engineering laboratories. The director of the NSCEDI, Toktasyn Yerubaev, also has close ties with the U.S. military, who, in addition to U.S. bioweapons supervisor in Kazakhstan, Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Singer, maintains contacts with the head of the U.S. Special Forces medical service, J. Callahan, and the administrator of the Lugar Center in Tbilisi, J. Mott. This is more appropriate for an American serviceman than for a biologist and a head of a government agency with access to state secrets.
In response to Moscow and Beijing’s repeatedly expressed concerns about U.S. military bio-laboratories in the republic, Astana has tried to deny the involvement of U.S. personnel in military biological research. Citing the importance of using American best practices for the development of Kazakhstani science, the authorities justify their decision to involve Americans in creating a network of bio-laboratories in the republic. However, Russia also has such experience, to which Kazakhstan has not resorted. Moreover, during the January riots in the country and the introduction of units of CSTO forces in Almaty, the Kazakh authorities did not allow them to protect the TRL and the NSCEDI named after Masgut Aikimbayev.
Last year, Kyrgyz experts from the International Association for the Control of Biological Research (IACBR) sent a letter to the Kazakhstani embassy in Bishkek urging President Tokayev to prohibit the construction of a bio-laboratory (BSL-4) in the village of Gvardeyskoye and to consider visits of IACBR experts to Kazakhstani bio-laboratories or informing the Association about their tasks and planned biological research. This letter went unanswered.
In 2010, an Armenian-American agreement was signed on cooperation in preventing the spread of technology, pathogens and knowledge that can be used in the development of biological weapons. Today, there are 12 bio-laboratories in Armenia, funded by the Pentagon’s Threat Reduction Agency. For the past ten years the authorities of the republic have claimed that there are no American bio-laboratories on the territory of the country, but after the discovery of documents on the development of bioweapons in Ukraine they were forced to admit this fact.
As a CSTO ally, Russia has repeatedly voiced its concern about the activities of U.S. bio-laboratories on its territory to Yerevan. Armenian authorities have occasionally agreed to set up monitoring of such facilities, but nothing actually happens. Russian biologists have never been granted access to any of the laboratories, although Yerevan claims that they are safe and their research is not directed against Russia. Armenia refuses even to disclose the list of works carried out in these laboratories.
The maintenance of U.S. military bio-laboratories in Armenia, despite their danger to Russia, is an excellent indicator of how “loyal” Yerevan is to the CSTO. It is difficult to imagine how a member of a military bloc maintains on its territory military bio-laboratories of the United States, which is an enemy of this bloc (CSTO). Moreover, Armenia is currently presiding over the CSTO, and it should do everything possible to allow Russian medics to become familiar with the American bio-laboratories and the work that is being done there.
A very interesting proposal was voiced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in an interview with RT Arabic that Russia expects to conclude “memoranda on cooperation in the field of biological security,” including with Armenia and Kazakhstan. He believes that transparency in this area is important to ensure that these programs do not have a military component under the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. These memorandums involve reciprocal visits and familiarization with the activities of the laboratories. In addition, it must be spelled out in the documents that each party must not have military representatives of any third party. But so far these are just our plans and intentions.