Putin Slams Georgia’s US-Financed Lugar Lab

Russian President Vladimir Putin joined the disinformation campaign against the Lugar Research Center located in Georgia following allegations from the high officials of the Russian government and state media.

According to vesti.ru, Putin talked about the use of biological weapons in the Lugar Center based on Georgia's former Minister of Defense Igor Giorgadze and noted that "the credibility of the message cannot be judged, but if it is true, it is outrageous."

The Russian President stated that it was reported by some sources that in the Lugar Lab there are the latest achievements in the field of genetics, adding they elaborate such medicines that can affect people and their national origin.

According to Putin, these tests are already allegedly carried out on dogs and rats, adding that in the second and third generation these substances make changes to their original appearance. "If that's true, it's a big threat,” he stated.

Zurab Abashidze, Special Representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia in relations with Russia, responded to Putin, saying Georgia is ready to carry out monitoring of the Lugar Laboratory through international mechanisms and with the involvement of high level experts.

“We have repeatedly announced that the Lugar Laboratory, which represents Georgia's property and is financed by our Government, is conducting scientific research activities transparently. The information disseminated by Russian state agencies and media about the so-called closed experiments is totally groundless,” he noted.

Abashidze says the laboratory doors are open to foreign experts and scientists who often visit this center.

“In mid-November, Georgia and Germany will conduct an international seminar, at which participants from over 20 countries will be provided with full information about theLugar Laboratory. Regrettably, the Russian side refused to participate in the seminar despite the invitation,” he added. 

The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) of Georgia, which became operational in August 2013. 

The Lugar Center is top-tiered institution in NCDC’s laboratory network and serves as a reference laboratory of Georgia’s public health system. 

The project started in 2004, after the USA – Georgia Umbrella Agreement was signed in 1997 and the USA – Georgia Implementing Agreement signed in 2002 about “Cooperation in the Area of Prevention of Proliferation of Technology, Pathogens and Expertise Related to the Development of Biological Weapons.” 

By Thea Morrison

Related story:

Lugar Lab Controversy


19 October 2018 00:33