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Former Georgian minister says US held suspicious experiments at lab in Georgia

September 11, 18:27 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The laboratory has the official title of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research

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© AP Photo/Guillermo Arias

MOSCOW, September 11. /TASS/. US military and private contractors might have conducted secret experiments involving humans at a laboratory in Georgia, the former Georgian Security Minister, Igor Giorgadze told a news conference in Moscow on Tuesday.

"Even the first glance at a portion of documents - and my friends in Georgia have shipped hundreds and thousands of pages of documents to me - shows the biologists from the US army medicine group in Georgia and private contractors might have really conducted secret experiments over Georgian citizens at the Richard Lugar laboratory," he said.

The laboratory has the official title of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research and Russian defense experts say the fields of its activities look highly suspicious.

"A whole range of experiments involving my fellow-Georgians had lethal finales," Giorgadze said, adding that he had a list of about 30 people, who had taken courses of treatment at the Lugar center and had died of hepatitis C later.

He said this information referred to just one month, namely, December 2015. "Most notably, the documents show 24 people of the group of 30 died on the same day," he said.

"The data for 2016 speaks of 30 deceased in April and another thirteen, in August," Giorgadze said. "The highly bewildering thing is the word ‘undetermined’ in the box on the cause of death. There were no investigations as regards the causes of those individuals’ deaths."

"Unfortunately, we don’t know the surnames of those who died, as the laboratory reports feature them under the cyphers the lab assigned to them," Giorgadze said. "What we have is the data on the dates of their births, their gender and the dates of their passing away. But still there’s an opportunity to identify their names if someone wishes to."

He said all of this happened against the background of generally encouraging results of struggle with hepatitis C in Georgia.

The Pentagon’s efforts to place its medical/biological laboratories in different parts of world, including the areas adjoining the Russian border make up a subject of growing concern in Moscow.

Considering the US persistence in keeping up its reservation on the 1925 Geneva Protocol, which bans the use of germ weapons, questions about the true objectives of the US military-biological activity in the post-Soviet space give rise to legitimate questions.

The highly specific interpretation of provisions of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention [BTWC] and Washington’s claims that the ban on biological weaponry does not apply to research in this sphere amplifies the apprehensions powerfully, as it admits of the sweeping medical and biological activities that clearly stand at variance with the Convention.

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