New Georgian President Calls For 'Careful' Commenting On Lugar Laboratory
New Georgian President Salome Zourabichvili on Friday said that the Richard Lugar Laboratory, accused by Russia of running secret biological tests, only benefited Georgia's health care system, which meant that any statements about the facility should be carefully considered
In December, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said in an interview with Sputnik that Moscow was seriously concerned over the activities of the US-funded laboratory, which allegedly conducts biological weapons tests, and expected the US and Georgian authorities to provide sufficient clarification on the center's activities.
"I want to urge everyone to be careful, since this laboratory is very important for the country in terms of health care, we get a lot of good from it," Zourabichvili said at press conference.
Russia has repeatedly expressed concern about the Pentagon's activities involving the placement of its biomedical labs in close proximity to Russian borders. For example, in 2015, the Russian Foreign Ministry mentioned that the Lugar lab was hosting the US Army Medical Department's research unit. Moscow has said it believes that the US and Georgian authorities are trying to hide the true nature of their work at the facility.
Georgia and the United States have both denied Russia's claims in comments to Sputnik. Georgia's government envoy for ties with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, has called the allegations absurd, while US Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon has said the center was owned and operated by Georgia's disease control center.