US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Long before the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, China, Russia already suspected one place in the development of biological weapons. Since the opening of the US-funded biolaboratory, located in the vicinity of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, Moscow has built many theories.
High-ranking officials of the Russian government, as well as government media, suspected the laboratory of conducting dangerous experiments and requested a check to make sure that there was no preparation for biological warfare on its territory.
Georgia, which after the “Rose Revolution” of 2003, is trying to distance itself from Russia, with which it fought in South Ossetia in August 2008, has denied these allegations, calling them “misinformation”. Moreover, laboratory staff argue that in the current epidemic, laboratory activities are of great importance. As of June 18, Georgia recorded 888 cases of coronavirus infection and 14 deaths: Georgia is the least affected country in the region.
Last weekend, during a meeting with the diplomatic corps accredited in Georgia, Prime Minister George Hajaria thanked the United States for its contribution to the creation of the Lugar Laboratory, named after US Senator Richard Lugar.
“Georgia has the smallest increase in cases, we are on alert. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Lugar laboratory of the National Center for Disease Control carried out from 100 to 150 PCR analyzes per day, today up to 4,500 tests are performed per day, ”he explained. By the end of the year, they want to conduct 100 thousand tests per day.
The construction of the laboratory was started in 2004, and in 2013 it was opened under the control of the Georgian government. In January, the covid-19 virus was started in the laboratory. When China and the United States began to accuse each other of creating the virus, Russian media joined in criticizing Washington. Some went even further, suggesting that the coronavirus was obtained in the laboratory of Lugar. The director of the center, Paata Imnadze, stated that this was “simple propaganda.”
Some of these allegations are based on statements by Igor Giorgadze, the Georgian Minister of Security of the 1990s, who lives in Russia, who in 2018 stated that 30 people were killed in secret lab tests for hepatitis C. He asked United States President Donald Trump to investigate the matter. Georgia denied his speculation.
Russian ambassador to the OSCE Alexander Lukashevich said last week that the laboratory is being used to conduct medical experiments to create “viral mutations and biological weapons.” In response, US Ambassador James Gilmore said that “such misinformation from Russia is regrettable.” In addition, he added that thanks to the joint efforts of Georgia and Ukraine, “research and development of vaccines” for new diseases is being actively conducted in the laboratory.
The Russian government has repeatedly expressed its doubts about the laboratory and requested access to facilities. The last time such a request was sent at the end of May. “The reason for our concern is that Washington does not disclose what kind of research they are doing near the Russian border. Naturally, we cannot close our eyes to such a threat for reasons of national security, ”the Russian Foreign Ministry said. Earlier, he accused the United States of intent to conduct military research in the laboratory.
The Georgian government said that despite the absence of relevant obligations, it is ready to receive a delegation in accordance with the Biological Weapons Convention, which also includes Russian experts. In November 2018, they already held a similar international reception, in which 22 experts and observers from 17 countries took part. However, Moscow, which then called it “propaganda doctrine” and refused to participate, today requires access to objects and documentation with the participation of exclusively Russians and Georgians.
Obviously, the virus of discord is not born in the laboratory; however, it seems that the end will never come to him.
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