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US planned to create bio lab in Crimea similar to Georgia’s Lugar Center, says watchdog

The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center opened near Tbilisi’s international airport in 2011 under a US government program

MOSCOW, December 25. /TASS/. The United States sought to create a bio laboratory in Simferopol, Crimea, similar to the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research located near Georgia’s Tbilisi, Head of Russian consumer safety watchdog, the Federal Service for Supervision of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being, Anna Popova, told reporters on Tuesday.

"Today there are 11 US laboratories operating in Ukraine, which are funded by the Pentagon," Russia’s chief sanitary doctor Popova said. "There were also plans to [create a bio laboratory] in Simferopol."

After Crimea rejoined Russia in 2014 and a sanitary and epidemiological service started forming on the peninsula, the samples of 104 entoparasites, 46 internal parts of rodents and 105 human blood serum, which were about to be sent, were found on the territory of a former Soviet anti-plague station, Popova noted.

This anti-plague station stopped being a research center and became a facility for collecting biological material and sending it to Europe via grant projects.

According to Russia’s chief sanitary doctor, the documents confirming that a laboratory similar to the Lugar Center was due to be opened in Simferopol were found. "This would have created additional and very high biological risks in the entire region," Popova stressed.

The Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center opened in Alekseyevka near Tbilisi’s international airport in 2011 under a US government program. The Center conducts research into biological threats.

In September, Giorgadze told reporters at a news conference in Moscow that he had evidence confirming that the Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center carried out dangerous experiments and called on US President Donald Trump to investigate the laboratory’s activity. Giorgadze claimed that US military and private contractors could be engaged in secret experiments on humans there.