127. Editorial Note

In the wake of the Soviet response about the alleged outbreak of pulmonary anthrax at Sverdlovsk (See Document 121), both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives called for further investigation into the incident in accordance with the 1972 Convention on Biological Weapons. (“Senate Resolution 405: Sverdlovsk Incident Regarding Biological Weapons, May 14, 1980, and “Report of a Subcommittee of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Soviet Biological Warfare Activities, June 1980,” in Documents on Disarmament, 1980, pp. 220; 239–243)

On May 28, 1980, Hodding Carter III, the Press Secretary of the Department of State, said in an official statement that “information at our disposal has raised serious questions and concerns regarding the nature of the outbreak of disease which occurred in Sverdlovsk in 1979. We have pursued this matter actively and seriously with the Soviet government through private diplomatic channels. As of this time, our concerns regarding that incident have not been alleviated, and we will continue to pursue this matter vigorously in accordance with the consultative procedures provided for in the Biological Weapons Convention.” The text of Carter’s remarks, as well as his replies to press questions, are in telegram 141594 to Moscow, May 30; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D800265–0009.