"The Lugar lab has made a huge contribution to Georgia's public health care. It was also the place where the first coronavirus research took place. The lab remains the prime spot for everyday research conducted to monitor the spread of the coronavirus," NCDC chief Amiran Gamkrelidze told reporters.
Russia is concerned that the Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research is secretly developing weapons of biological warfare, in breach of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. The facility was built with US money and houses an infectious disease lab of the US Army Medical Research Directorate-Georgia.
The Georgian Foreign Ministry has refuted Russia's concerns about the nature of the lab's research. Gamkrelidze said Russian monitors were welcome to visit the facility to calm their doubts — but only as part of an international delegation of inspectors.