The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a statement during a briefing on Thursday in Moscow, claiming the U.S. is running a secret bioweapons lab at the Richard Lugar Research Center in Tbilisi, Georgia, according to an AP report.
The public accusation comes just a few weeks after 21WIRE contributor Dilyana Gaytandzhieva’s explosive report detailing the Pentagon’s latest covert activities at the biolaboratory in Tbilisi, and the diplomatic cover provided to traffick in “human blood and pathogens for a secret military program.”
Chief of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Defense Forces of the Russian Ministry of Defence, Igor Kirillov, said the lab in Georgia was part of a network of overseas U.S. biolabs, confirming what was previously revealed in an earlier report by Gaytandzhieva.
Kirillov cited a trove of documents released by Georgia’s former security minister, Igor Giorgadze, that would prove the Lugar Center is a U.S-funded facility and may have been involved in illegal experiments on Georgian citizens.
According the AP report, a spokesman for the Pentagon, Eric Pahon, calls the MoD’s claims “an invention of the imaginative and false Russian disinformation campaign against the West” and “obvious attempts to divert attention from Russia’s bad behavior on many fronts.”
IMAGE: Six diplomatic vehicles of the US Embassy are parked in the car park of the Lugar Center. (©Al Mayadeen TV)
Kirillov offered examples of the damaging effects the lab may have on local and regional populations, including experiments on ticks carrying the Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus (CCHFV).
In 2014, 34 people became infected with CCHFV in Georgia, and according to Gaytandzhieva, “a total of 60 cases with 9 fatalities have been registered in Georgia since 2009, according to a leaked e-mail sent by the Lugar Center director Amiran Gamkrelidze to the Minister of Health of Georgia David Sergeenko.”
During the briefing, Kirillov added that it’s “highly likely that the U.S. is building up its military biological potential under the cover of studying protective means and conducting other peaceful research, flouting international agreements.”
Watch an excerpt of Ruptly’s live stream of the briefing below:
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