DISINFO: Suspicious American military activity in Lugar lab
[There are] suspicious biological military activities by US experts at the Lugar laboratory in Georgia, in which serious epidemiological research is being conducted for the benefits of the United States.
The only visit by a group of foreign experts occurred on November 14-15, 2018 […] and clearly aimed at misleading the international community about the true condition of the laboratory.
Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative concerning the Tbilisi-based Lugar Lab.
The Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research is a facility of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) in Georgia, which became operational in August 2013, and serves as a reference laboratory for Georgia’s public health system.
The Lugar laboratory does not "hide" its activities. On the contrary, as a partner institution of the World Health Organisation, it has been repeatedly inspected for adherence to international health standards. One such inspection, in September 2018, was carried out specifically in response to Russia's false accusations that the centre had been manufacturing bioweapons.
And while Moscow refused to visit Tbilisi facility, one of the visiting experts said they "were given access to all areas of the site, examined relevant documentation, and interviewed staff, and concluded that the Centre demonstrates significant transparency. Our group observed nothing out of the ordinary, or that we wouldn’t expect to see in a legitimate facility of this sort."
The U.S Embassy in Georgia previously addressed the conspiracy theories behind the Richard Lugar Centre as "nonsense and typical of Russian misinformation and propaganda campaigns."
And the ministry of foreign affairs in Georgia responded by appealing “to assess the aggressive statements of the Russian officials towards Georgia, to condemn the obvious misinformation and not to allow raising doubts about the successful functioning of the exemplary institution in the region”.
It added that “although Georgia has no bilateral legal obligations on this issue, the country is ready to host another exercise/visit under the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, including with the participation of Russian experts”.
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