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Russia expects US, Georgia to clarify Lugar Center’s activities

MOSCOW, November 22. /TASS/. Neither the United States nor Georgia has yet been able to clarify the activities of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Tbilisi, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said at a briefing on Thursday.

"We are still waiting for Washington and Tbilisi to clarify the true nature of the Lugar Center’s activities," she said.

In this regard, the Russian diplomat pointed to a statement that the Georgian health minister made after an international expert group had visited the center in mid-November.

"The Georgian media claimed that those international experts had unequivocally confirmed the totally peaceful and transparent nature of the center’s activities," Zakharova noted. "However, later it turned out that a statement published on the Lugar center’s website was the only official document containing such optimistic conclusions. The statement is not signed and does not mention the names of foreign experts and the organizations they represent. The so-called document particularly stresses that all of the center’s personnel confirmed to the unnamed experts that their activities are totally peaceful," she noted.

"It seemed, after that the guests did not find it necessary to ask why the US Army Medical Research Directorate - Georgia was part of the facility and what kind of research it conducted," Zakharova stressed. "Such introductory tours definitely do not help clear up the situation," she added.