The messenger logo

US Embassy Hails Russian Reports on Lugar lab as ‘Part of Propaganda’

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Tuesday, October 9
The US Embassy in Georgia has responded to the allegations of Russian officials as if at the Lugar Laboratory, built by Americans in Tbilisi, has been used for illegal experiments and for the US regional interests.

“We’ve seen those reports in Russian media. They’re nonsense and typical of Russian misinformation and propaganda campaigns, “ reads the statement written on behalf of Acting US Ambassador to Georgia Elisabeth Rood.

“I note that Georgia, with German support, has organized an international “peer review compliance exercise” of the Lugar Center to be conducted in November. The Russians have declined to participate.

“For further inquiries into the Lugar Center’s actual mission or more information on the “peer review compliance exercise”, I would refer you to the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi; I’m sure they would be happy to discuss the good work they do there.

Last week Russian Commander of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence Troops of Russia Igor Kirillov told the media that Americans keep biological and chemical weapon munitions at the lab and that the experiments conducted at the laboratory claimed dozens of lives of Georgian citizens in 2015 and 2016.

Georgian Health Ministry official Amiran Gamkrelidze stated that it is false as if the Americans own and control the lab.

“The laboratory is fully controlled by the Georgian Health Ministry and receives funding from the Georgian state budget,” Gamkrelidze said.

He said that all clinical-laboratory diagnostic and scientific research requiring the use of a BSL-3 laboratory under international rules is carried out in the Lugar center and “only Georgian researchers have access to the BSL-3 space.”

A biosafety level (BSL) is a set of biocontainment precautions needed to isolate dangerous biological agents in an enclosed laboratory facility. The levels of containment range from the lowest biosafety level 1 (BSL-1) to the highest at level 4 (BSL-4).

“The Lugar Center is a certified Biosafety Level-3 facility that performs a unique role in identifying especially dangerous pathogens, research and public health for the region,” Gamkrelidze added.

The Lugar Lab named after ex-US Senator Richard Lugar was opened in 2013 in Tbilisi.