Georgian health ministry refutes Russia’s allegations about Lugar Lab

Georgian health ministry refutes Russia’s allegations about Lugar Lab

Head of the National Centre of Disease Control (NCDC) of Georgia Amiran Gamkrelidze said that recent allegations of the Russian media and state officials regarding illegal experiments at the Tbilisi-based, US-built Lugar Laboratory are "unimaginable falsehoods and slander.'

The Russian media and Commander of the Radiological, Chemical and Biological Defence Troops of Russia Igor Kirilov said at a special briefing 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 advanced stages of Hepatitis C.

Gamkrelidze said that the laboratory was built with the help of the US, however, it is in the full ownership 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 Russians say] have access to the BSL-3 space,” cited Gamkrelidze as saying.

Gamkrelidze responded to the allegations concerning Hepatitis C and stated that studies on Hepatitis C medications have never been conducted at the Lugar lab.