International experts say US founded Lugar Lab in Tbilisi works transparently and safely

  • The Ministry of Health has announced that they will upload the report drafted by international experts regarding the  Lugar lab in the coming hours. Photo: health.unl.edu.

Agenda.ge, 16 Nov 2018 - 16:30, Tbilisi,Georgia

Head of the Disease Control Centre of the Ministry of Health of Georgia David Gamkrelidze has stated today that 23 international experts have drafted a report regarding the US-founded Lugar lab in Tbilisi, in the wake of Russian accusations about illegal experiments being conducted at the site.

The report will be uploaded on our webpage in the coming hours. The report is very positive which reads that the lab activities are transparent and safe and only aim to prevent illnesses.

The experts have checked each corner of the lab and each document,” Gamkrelidze said.

The Russian media and Commander of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence Troops of Russia Igor Kirilov said at a special briefing early in October that illegal experiments have been made on humans in the lab which led to the death of more than 73 people in 2015 and 2016.

Before Kirilov made the statement, Georgian former security official in the Eduard Shevardnadze government, Igor Giorgadze, told the media that illegal human experiments were made on people suffering from advanced stages of Hepatitis C.

Gamkrelidze says that Russia aimed to discredit the highest level laboratory center in Tbilisi and in the South Caucasus, which is transparent and open even to Russian scientists.

He said that despite invitation Russian scientists refused to participate in an international event at the lab this month.

Gamkrelidze stated in October that to end the speculations regarding the lab, a group of international experts from the World Health Organisation would be invited to make its report about the laboratory.

Gamkrelidze said that the laboratory was built with the help of the US, but that Georgia is the full owner of the Georgian government and as of 2018 the lab is fully financed by the Georgian state budget.

All clinical-laboratory diagnostic and scientific research requiring the use of a BSL-3 laboratory under international rules is carried out in the Lugar centre. Besides, only Georgian researchers [not Americans, as Russia says] have access to the BSL-3 space,” Gamkrelidze said.

A couple of days ago BBC released a video about the Lugar lab  with the name “Russian disinformation and the Georgian 'lab of death.’

 

 
 

A BBC investigation has found that Russian media and officials presented false claims about the US-funded laboratory in Georgia,” the video inscription reads.

  • The Lugar Lab, officially called the Center for Public Health Research, is located in Tbilisi and named after former American Senator Richard Lugar.
  • It became operational in 2013. The centre is the part of Georgia’s National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), under the Georgian Ministry of Labor, Health and Social Affairs.
  • The construction of the centre was launched in 2004 based on agreements signed between Georgia and US in 1997 and 2002.
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