The Richard G. Lugar Center for Public Health Research is not a US military facility and is not engaged in the research of biological weapons, US Ambassador to Georgia Richard Norland said on 29 July in response to a statement made by the Chief Sanitary Inspector of Russia, Gennadiy Onishchenko, earlier the same day.
Onischenko expressed dissatisfaction with the operation of Richard G. Lugar Center in Tbilisi and described the explanation provided by the Georgian side regarding the bio-security laboratory as primitive and unprofessional.
In reality, the laboratory is under Georgia's control, Richard Norland said. Georgia and the United States have repeatedly stated that the laboratory is an open and transparent institution, the US ambassador continued. It is equipped with modern technologies and is open to scientists, including Russian ones, who are interested in the activity undertaken there, Richard Norland declared.