US Activities In Georgia's Lugar Labs Breach Both Countries' Int'l Obligations - Moscow

US Activities in Georgia's Lugar Labs Breach Both Countries' Int'l Obligations - Moscow

Activities conducted by the United States in the Georgian based US-funded Richard Lugar biological laboratory contradict both countries' obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (often referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention, BWC), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 04th July, 2020) Activities conducted by the United States in the Georgian based US-funded Richard Lugar biological laboratory contradict both countries' obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (often referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention, BWC), the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

Russia has repeatedly expressed concerns that Georgia's Lugar laboratory, which is located close to Russia's borders, might be used by the Pentagon and Tbilisi to run clandestine tests and develop biological weapons.

"We have repeatedly drawn attention to the activities of the Georgian-based so-called Center for Public Health Research named after Richard Lugar where there is a permanently functioning 'US Army Medical Research Directorate-Georgia.' For obvious reasons, the US colleagues prefer to not speak about experiments conducted by this military unit. Neither do they share data with regard to the BWC confidence-building measures," the ministry said in a statement.

The ministry went on to describing as "obvious slyness" the US' claims that activities at Lugar are focused on public health matters.

As outlined in the statement, Russia's concerns are driven by a number of facts, including the US' refusal to share more details about experiments with plague bacteria that can develop a membrane with resistance to all known antibiotics and the denial that its patents on drones spreading infected insects in the air as a means of delivering infectious agents violate the BWC. Moreover, further concerns were invoked after the US admitted that the lab-based military were monitoring the epidemiological situation in Georgia and collecting biological samples.

"Hereby, the activities of the US military in Georgia obviously violate the obligations of the United States and Georgia, as the country hosting the US military, under Article IV of the BWC, which entails that signatories ensure that no restricted activities are carried out in their jurisdiction," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

Moscow has urged the US and Georgia to "exercise prudence and immediately work to improve the situation," beginning with granting Russian experts access to all lab premises.