Russia Won’t Tolerate US Biological Experiments near Its Borders, Warns Diplomat

MOSCOW - Russia won’t let the Americans carry out biological experiments near its borders, Vladimir Yermakov, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Non-Proliferation and Arms Control Department, told reporters on Tuesday.

The diplomat commented on a statement by Georgia’s former state security minister, Igor Giorgadze, earlier this month that he had evidence that the United States conducted secret experiments on humans in a Georgian laboratory.

"We told [the Americans] that we won’t let your military biologists do something strange on the Russian border," Yermakov said.

 According to Russia’s assessments, the US military agency is working on Georgian territory with biological materials and is using Georgian partners as "guinea pigs," the diplomat said.

Georgia’s ex-state security minister, Igor Giorgadze, told reporters at a news conference in Moscow on September 11 that he had evidence confirming that the Richard Lugar Public Health Research Center near Tbilisi 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.

Meanwhile, US Defense Department spokesman Eric Pahon told TASS that Giorgadze’s statements were baseless.

Russia’s Defense Ministry later said it was studying information published on Giorgadze’s website. According to the ministry, the notorious facts and documents point to serious violations by Washington of the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction, which the US ratified in 1972.

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.

Moscow regrets Ukraine’s decision not to extend friendship treaty

In another development, Moscow regrets that Kiev has decided to terminate the friendship treaty with Russia, Russian diplomat Andrei Rudenko told reporters on Tuesday.

"Ukraine has decided not to extend the major treaty with Russia, certainly, we regret about this. Although this was a framework agreement, it set a tone for all other deals," said Rudenko, who heads the Foreign Ministry’s second department for the Commonwealth of Independent States.

On Monday, Russia received Kiev’s official note on its decision not to extend the friendship treaty. "This is formal notification that starting from April 1 this treaty will be terminated," Rudenko said.

Ukraine and Russia inked the Treaty on Friendship, Cooperation and Partnership in May 1997. The treaty came into force in April 1999 for a term of ten years with automatic extension for further ten-year periods if neither of the sides decides otherwise. In October 2018, the term expires when the sides should announce their plans of extending or terminating the document.