Ukraine one step closer to visa liberalisation
Joint press release following the 6th Association council meeting between the European Union and Georgia
The European Union and Georgia held the 6th meeting of the Association council on 16 March 2021. The Association council took note of the 2021 Association Implementation Report on Georgia and assessed the state of EU-Georgia relations since the last Association council in March 2019.
The Association council welcomed Georgia's progress on its European path, including in the challenging COVID-19 context, and recognised the efforts of the Georgian Government to contain the virus as well as to ensure targeted social assistance to those in need. Both sides acknowledged the crucial importance of the EU rapid assistance to Georgia in the fight against COVID as a vivid sign of solidarity.
Both sides reaffirmed their continued commitment to bringing tangible benefits to the lives of Georgian citizens across key areas of cooperation: economic development and market opportunities; strengthening institutions and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; enhancing mobility and people-to-people contacts.
The Association council noted that the elections of 31 October and 21 November 2020 were competitive and that, overall, fundamental freedoms were respected. The Association council agreed on the importance of addressing all recommendations related to the shortcomings identified by international observers, including OSCE/ODIHR, through ambitious and inclusive electoral reform in order to strengthen the electoral environment and render it more favourable for the democratic conduct of elections.
The Association council strongly regretted the deepening political polarisation in Georgia. The EU called for a swift resolution to the ongoing political situation, for all parties to step up efforts to de-escalate the situation and come together to identify and agree on common ground. The Association council agreed that it was vital for all actors to continue working, in the EU-supported mediation, to find an early resolution to Georgia's political crisis.
The Association council reiterated its call on all political actors to work together and to maintain open dialogue in Georgia, including with civil society, in order to further strengthen democratic institutions, consolidate pluralistic democracy and advance reforms. Both sides stressed the need to continue the successful cooperation between the EU and Georgia on strategic communication and countering disinformation.
The Association council recalled that a great number of Georgian citizens have benefited from short term visa free travel to Schengen countries in recent years. It welcomed the continuous efforts of Georgia to address violations of the visa-free travel requirements, including the latest legislative amendments to the Law of Georgia on ‘Rules for Georgian citizens on Leaving and Entering Georgia' and underlined the importance of its effective implementation. The Association council underlined the critical importance of sustained efforts by Georgia to continue to fulfil the visa liberalisation benchmarks, in particular in order to strengthen and maintain the recent decrease in the number of unfounded asylum applications lodged by Georgian nationals in the Schengen + area. The EU encouraged Georgia to further enhance cooperation with EU Member States to counter irregular migration and organised crime. Both sides welcomed a renewed working arrangement signed between Georgia and Frontex, as well as Georgia's acquisition of observer status in the European Migration Network.
The Association council welcomed progress made in the implementation of Georgia's Human Rights Strategy and its Action Plan, as well as the important work of the Human Rights Protection Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The EU recognised Georgia's efforts in this area and encouraged Georgia to continue efforts to effectively implement the anti-discrimination law and to ensure protection for all persons belonging to minorities, and to ensure gender equality. The Council recalled the commitment to the universality of human rights for all, regardless of religion or belief, race, ethnic origin, sex, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, ability or other. The Association council welcomed substantial progress made by Georgia to create an effective labour inspection system, in order to further improve working conditions and address the challenges in this area in line with international and European labour standards. It also discussed the importance of continuing efforts in this direction.
Both sides welcomed the progress made by Georgia in the implementation of the Association Agreement, including its Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA). The EU continued to be the most important trading partner of Georgia. The EU and Georgia agreed to identify further products with export potential to the EU, for which EU can provide assistance. Both sides welcomed successful implementation of structural reforms and underlined the importance of ongoing reforms related to the improvement of the investment climate in Georgia. The Association council welcomed the ongoing work to draft a new SME Development Strategy 2021-2025 and the EU side confirmed its readiness to support its implementation.
The Association council welcomed the disbursements of Macro-Financial Assistance to Georgia in November 2020 and urged Georgia to continue the implementation of outstanding agreed policy measures in order to enable the disbursement of the second instalment of COVID Macro-Financial Assistance to Georgia (of which 75 million EUR was disbursed in 2020). The EU encouraged Georgia to ensure the sustainability of already implemented reforms and maintain macro-economic stability.
The Association council reiterated Georgia's strategic role in the field of energy, transport and connectivity and increasingly as a transportation and logistics hub in the region. The EU committed to continue engaging closely with Georgia on the connectivity agenda, including through the gradual completion of the indicative core Trans-European networks of Transport (TEN-T), as a step towards enhancing connectivity and international trade between Europe and Asia. The sides also highlighted the importance of Black Sea connectivity. The EU took note of Georgia's request for support in the elaboration and implementation of a plan for better Black Sea connectivity.
The Association council reiterated Georgia's key role as a partner for European energy security and stressed the country's transit role for Caspian hydrocarbon resources to reach European markets, notably via the Southern Gas Corridor and through the Black Sea, with a view to strengthening EU-Georgia interconnections. The EU stressed its continued commitment to further supporting the roll-out of energy efficiency standards in public buildings, based on legislative reforms in key areas. The EU reiterated its continuous support to reinvigorating Georgia's agriculture and rural sector to improve living conditions in rural areas. The Association council noted the importance of enhanced cooperation in the area of civil protection.
The EU recognised Georgia as a key partner in the region and acknowledged the importance of EU-Georgia cooperation in the field of foreign and security policy. The Association council recalled the issues discussed during the third EU-Georgia Strategic Security Dialogue in October 2019 and looked forward to the next meeting in this format. The EU expressed appreciation for Georgia's continued contribution to EU-led crisis management operations and missions in the Central African Republic and the Republic of Mali, as well as openness to supporting the strengthening of Georgia's capacities and resilience.
The EU reiterated its firm support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia within its internationally recognised borders. The EU reiterated its firm commitment to peaceful conflict resolution in Georgia by using all instruments at its disposal including the policy of non-recognition and engagement. The work of the EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and the crisis in Georgia and of the EU Monitoring Mission demonstrate this strong commitment.
The Association council took note of the judgement of 21 January 2021 of the European Court of Human Rights Grand Chamber in the inter-State case concerning the armed conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation in August 2008 and its consequences which concluded that after the 12 August 2008 the Russian Federation, "exercising effective control over Abkhazia and South Ossetia", violated several provisions of the European Convention of Human Rights.
The Association council stressed the critical importance of the Geneva International Discussions for addressing and resolving the challenges stemming from the conflict between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. It also reiterated that full and effective Incident Prevention and Response Mechanisms (IPRMs) are essential for addressing the safety and humanitarian needs of conflict-affected population on the ground. In this regard, the Council welcomed the resumption of Ergneti IPRM meetings and emphasised the crucial importance of resuming the Gali IPRM.
The Council expressed concern about signing a so-called programme on the creation of a common socio-economic space between Russia and Georgian region of Abkhazia as well as other steps further undermining Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity, deterioration of the security and human rights situation in the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and Tskhinvali/South Ossetia, especially with regard to intensified military build-up, installation of barbed wire fences and other artificial barriers along the dividing lines, long-term closure of "crossing points". Concerns also include the situation with ethnic discrimination of Georgians, restriction of freedom of movement, including for health care and access to other social services, arbitrary detentions, violation of property rights and education in mother tongue, the persistent obstacles to the safe and dignified return of internally displaced persons and refugees to their places of origin, and deprivation of life of Archil Tatunashvili and Giga Otkhozoria. In this regard, the Association council reiterated that justice should be applied.
The Association council reiterated the obligation for the Russian Federation to fulfil its international obligations including under the EU-mediated 12 August 2008 Ceasefire Agreement, notably to withdraw its military forces from the territory of Georgia and remove all impediments for establishment of international security mechanisms therein. The Association council further urged the Russian Federation to provide EUMM access to the whole territory of Georgia, in line with its mandate. The Association council also called for access for international humanitarian and human rights mechanisms of relevant international organisations.
The Association council stressed the importance of ongoing support to people-to-people contacts and confidence building measures across the divides. In this respect, the Association council recalled its support for the Georgian peace initiative « A Step to a Better Future».
The EU commended Georgia's active participation in the multilateral dimension of the Eastern Partnership and underlined that continued reform efforts in the partner countries are key to the success of the Eastern Partnership and to the EaP Summit scheduled for later this year.
The Association council was chaired by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Mr Josep Borrell. The Prime Minister of Georgia, Mr. Irakli Garibashvili led the Georgian delegation.
Press Service of the Government Administration
On the issue of US military biolaboratories: Who will be the victims of Americans on Armenian soil?
Foreign media about coronavirus, On the issue of US military biolaboratories: Who will be the victims of Americans on Armenian soil?
Author: Sergey Shakariants
The problem of Americans opening military biolabs in post-Soviet countries has probably been known since at least 2013-14. Besides, we are talking not only about the CIS member states, but also about Ukraine and Georgia, which left the CIS a long time ago.
The US Central Reference Laboratories (CRLs), to which smaller zonal stations are added, have been operating in Ukraine since 2010, in Georgia since 2011, and in Kazakhstan since 2015. Canada tried to create a CRL in Kyrgyzstan. Here we explain: Reference laboratories are set up by national health authorities to diagnose particularly dangerous infections and prevent their spread. Armenia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are also involved in separate cooperation programs with the United States.
Naturally, the US states that the operation of these facilities is for civil purposes only. All facilities are funded by the US Department of Defense. At the same time, their value is significantly higher than the usual costs incurred by such civil agencies. So there is every reason to think that there might be expensive dual-purpose devices out there. Number of employees - from 50 to 250 people significantly exceeds the number of staff required for the service of civil automated laboratories with declared goals.
The system of laboratory complexes located on the perimeter of the borders of Russia, China and Iran will potentially allow the Pentagon to solve many tasks. For example, the ability to gather information on territorial microorganisms to develop a new generation of highly effective offensive biological weapons against the People's Republic of China, Iran and Russia.
Since 2016, the Armenian public has also sounded the alarm. The fact is that in a short period of time, from April 6, 2016 (!) To July 13-14 of the same year, in this small republic, the Americans opened three reference laboratories with funding from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). First in Ijevan, in the center of the Taush (border) region, then in the capital Yerevan, in the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Armenia, and finally in Gyumri, called the "Center for Disease Control and Prevention". It should also be noted that for the current 2017 year, the Americans and their supporters in Armenia plan to open similar centers in the Lori, Gegarkunix and Syunik regions, which will be connected to the Central Yerevan laboratory. In short, the US has decided to have and control six (!!!) military bio-laboratories in Armenia only.
On July 13, 2016, with the help of the US Threat Reduction Agency, another reference laboratory was opened in the Avan district of Yerevan. The opening was attended by DTRA Division Director Elizabeth George. According to Dr. Elizabeth George, $ 4.1 million has been invested in the complete construction of the Particularly Dangerous Pathogens Reference Laboratory of the Food Safety Department of the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Armenia. The US government has spent $ 9.8 million to renovate the reference laboratory of the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Armenia. An additional 1.7 million. Dollars were issued to purchase equipment and furniture. One day later, on July 14, 2016, in Gyumri, Shirak Marz, the opening ceremony of the Shirak Regional Laboratory - National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Ministry of Health of Armenia was held with the participation of Elizabeth George, Director of DTRA Division and local government representatives. The U.S. government has spent $2.7 million on renovations to the Gyumri laboratory, with an additional $340,000 to purchase furniture and appliances. Why does the US have such an insistent interest in Armenia in terms of its program to build military bio-facilities? One of the answers can be seen on the surface: during the Soviet period, Armenia was deservedly considered one of the leaders of the Soviet microbiological science. The many strains that are kept here are truly unique.
An additional suspicion is that the laboratories operate in a closed mode, are staffed by foreign military personnel and representatives of the local health sector often do not have direct access to them. Either military personnel loyal to Washington or special services representatives are being appointed as leaders. Given the "specificity" of the appointment of law enforcement officials in Armenia, which has been in place since 2016, any researcher can expect that the law enforcement agencies of the republic, including the National Security Service of the Republic of Armenia, will deliberately turn a blind eye to any activities of US laboratories. Even the actions of the staff of these biolaboratories objectively pose a direct threat to the security of Armenia and the health of its own population. However, even if the Americans do not "conduct experiments" on Armenians - The list of threats is still extensive for Armenian citizens. Overseas laboratory complexes as a whole provide an opportunity for U.S. military specialists to test the results of their biological research in areas close to potential adversaries (e.g., to investigate the virulence, pathways, and other properties of dangerous pathogens). If nothing else, Americans are also experimenting with infecting the population with mild diseases in their own country. We have reason to assume that they can not refrain from field approbation of new ideas in this field in post-Soviet countries, or - in their neighboring countries. For Armenia, it is, first of all, Iran. After all, Americans in Georgia and Azerbaijan have "local" reference laboratories. The situation allows the US to bypass any legal restrictions. Overseas medical centers allow the U.S. military to conduct biological manipulations beyond the borders of the national territory, thus avoiding public outcry and the consequences of violating U.S. law, without, of course, access to foreign inspections. So the results of Soviet military-biological programs are becoming available to Americans. I think it is unnecessary to ask - why. Understandably, not for peaceful purposes or with the desire to "fight the growing threat of bioterrorism".
Aik Aivazian, head of the "Lui" (Yerevan) Information-Analytical Center, repeatedly pointed out in 2016-2017 that US military biolaboratories in Armenia have a dual, sometimes even triple purpose, given the amount of funding and the fact that Americans plan to have six such facilities in a limited, yet high seismic hazard area. Aik Aivazian and Public Club "People's Voice" expert Arman Gukasyan have repeatedly stressed that they might not worry about receiving outstanding "American assistance" to Armenia in such a difficult and delicate area as the selfless care of the current US ruling elite for the development and well-being of the 3 million citizens of Armenia, most of the listed threats are considered fictitious, but such a position is hindered by numerous "buts"! To begin with, the influential American NGO Political Project "New American Century" (operating in Washington from 1997 to 2006. Influenced by the ideology and military policy of the George W. Bush administration) in 2000 program documents indicated that improved species of biological weapons Having the ability to influence a particular genotype, they can shift bio-weapons from the realm of terror to the realm of useful political tools.
In addition to the above, there are many other strange "peculiarities" in Armenia. On April 26, 2017, following a series of media publications, in response to a question from news.am, the US Embassy in Armenia commented on a publication about reference laboratories opened in the country with funding from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In its comments, the US Embassy did not provide any evidence that denied the dual purpose of these laboratories. The so-called "denial" contained only two videos of reference labs commissioned by the Americans themselves. As claimed by A. Aivazian and A. Gukasyan this year, their own analysis of the possible goals of the existence of US Pentagon reference laboratories in Armenia was conducted. The US Department of Defense has allocated about $15.5 million to set up a reference laboratory in Yerevan, $18 million in total.
It is unclear who is giving - in this case, who is guaranteeing the security of the three already existing and six US bio-military facilities in perspective. Leaks of deadly diseases from American laboratories have been repeatedly reported in the United States itself. Let's remember the case of sending Siberian ulcer to the U.S. in 2001, or the leak of Siberian ulcer and bird flu samples from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (DiseaseControlandPrevention, CDC). Who will the US blame if all of a sudden, dangerous pathogens "accidentally" leak from Armenian laboratories? The guard, the lab worker who "forgot" to close the tube tightly or someone else?
All this is not exaggerated in the slightest - no one should be accused of any kind of prejudice against its goals in the field of biolaboratories in the territory of the US and the former USSR. The generosity which the US sponsors biolabs in Armenia with is tense - and this is still mentioned very lightly. Of course, representatives of the US Embassy, as well as the above-mentioned Armenian and US agencies, have repeatedly stated that the activities of the laboratories "have nothing to do with geopolitical problems". As stated by the representatives of the Ministry of Health at the end of last year, Armenia is located in a region where "there is a high migration and a high probability that diseases will enter the republic". In accordance with its international obligations, Armenia must detect and respond to these threats in a timely manner, stopping their spread inside and outside the country. Laboratories are of a research nature and are committed to resolving this issue. The Armenian side also notes that "the laboratory will not have a dual purpose because the country has committed itself to reducing the risks of biological weapons proliferation". Similar comments were made by the US Embassy in Yerevan in late April. He said that they are proud of cooperating with the Government of Armenia and providing assistance to the citizens of the country, guaranteeing the health of agricultural animals, financing the repair and construction of modern laboratories. This strengthens the government's ability to publicly monitor potential health threats to humans and farm animals and to prevent dangerous disease epidemics.
But why are there no serious reactions - neither in Armenia nor in other republics? The fact is that the assessments of experts on the danger of these facilities are still quite measured, which they explain by the lack of complete information. According to Babkena Pipoyan (Yerevan), the head of the non-governmental organization "Informed and Protected User", in theory, the existence of reference laboratories on the territory of Armenia may lead to various problems and dangers. "We understand that the laboratory is not a hidden object. And the risks, if any, are known to the special services, the Armenian government and Russia, as a strategic partner of Armenia. Of course, Russia does not like the establishment of laboratories by the United States in Armenia, but I think the Armenian side made appropriate arguments when discussing the issue with its Russian colleagues", Pipoyan said. But he seems to be ignoring the fact that the construction of reference laboratories involves the transfer of all those strains stored in the collection of viruses to American side. All of these laboratories are operated solely by the U.S. Department of Defense. The construction of laboratories as part of biohazard management projects will enable the United States to fully control the biological condition of both the relevant post-Soviet countries and the territories of its transboundary neighbors. Every virologist knows the rule: there is only one step from studying a bacterium to creating a bacteriological weapon. At the same time, US-created biolaboratories are out of the control of the governments of the countries in which they are located. Laboratories operate in closed mode. Laboratory staff, made up exclusively of Americans, have diplomatic immunity, and local civil health officials do not have direct access to these facilities. The number of laboratory workers ranges from 50 to 250, which is significantly more than the number of staff required to service automated civilian laboratories with declared purposes. To cite the Indonesian example of 2010, the expulsion of such an American biolaboratory is unfortunately an unfulfilled dream for ordinary citizens of Armenia, as the current government knows what is happening in the world, specifically around Armenia, Artsakh,but still in 2013-2017, the US The policy goes directly to aid. The Armenian government either does not really know or does not seem to have heard the statement of Jeffrey Silverman, a former adviser to Mikheil Saakashvili, the former president of Georgia, in an interview with "Georgia and the World": Bypassing US Laboratories for the Convention on the Prohibition of Biological Weapons Creates order. "Lugar Laboratory is located next to the airport. It will not take long to load the bomb or transfer the viruses from there to other facilities," he said, referring to the functions and tasks of the Richard Lugar Center for Public Health Research in Georgia. I'll remind you that the Americans spent $300 million to create this laboratory. But a number of data from Armenia show that in recent years the government of the Republic has been supporting the United States in this, at least, strange activity. Year 2010 - Agreement with the Pentagon on cooperation in the field of technology for the production of biological weapons, the spread of pathogens and the prevention of testing, in the framework of the "Reduction of Biological Threats" program. The US Embassy in Armenia has established an Office to Support the Implementation of the Biological Threat Reduction Program. The company Black & Veatch has been involved in the implementation of DTRA programs since 2011, the CWEP program is operating. ISTC (USA) opened its branches in Yerevan, provided financial assistance for the material and technical support of several dozen projects.
In 2015, the Pentagon provided the Armenian Border Service with a device to control the circulation of weapons of mass destruction. The Armenian Ministries of Emergency Situations, Health and Agriculture have received the necessary special facilities from the US in case of a pandemic. The officials of these agencies were trained on American standards for the detection, diagnosis and prevention of dangerous infectious diseases of natural and man-made origin. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has launched its EpiInfo software at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention of Armenia. What would you say, "Everything is fine, beautiful Marquise?" No and no. According to materials of press conference held by the Public Club "People's Voice" in mid-June 2017 in Yerevan, "after the statement of the representative of the US Embassy, where he said that the activities of the given laboratories are open to the general public, the members of the public club decided to visit the mentioned laboratories and get acquainted with their activities on the spot. Activists wondered why the Pentagon funded the laboratory, why there was no agreement between the Armenian and US military agencies, why the laboratories were located in densely populated areas, and next to kindergartens and squares? Unfortunately, as experts say, the visit to the laboratory's main office did not answer any of the questions raised, which further aggravates the suspicion". As it turns out, the experts of "People's Voice" did not even enter the laboratories - they were limited to admission to the technical office.
This confirmed that the Americans are not going to report to anyone in Armenia on what US citizens are doing in the military biolaboratories in Yerevan, Gyumri and Ijevan. As the head of "People's Voice" A. Gukasyan states that he's planning to send a letter to the Organization US Ambassador R. Mills containing "specific questions and requests". "Studying the experience of neighboring Georgia, we see that money was spent on the construction of similar laboratories, which is several times more than the amount needed to finance such civil facilities." - Says the representative of the club Tsovinar Kostanian. In his view, you can't doubt this fact, because there is a danger that pathogens stored in these laboratories may in the future be used to create biological weapons that will be developed based on the genotype and biological characteristics of a given nation or region. "It is inadmissible for such important facilities to be under the control and expense of a foreign state. The Pentagon has already spent $18 million on setting up similar laboratories in Armenia. We are sure that if the laboratories are funded by the military, the set tasks will be completely military", he said. The Pentagon has spent more than $1 billion in recent years building 400 biolabs around the world. As a result of cooperation with the US, the less affluent countries of the former USSR, instead of actually preventing the spread of dangerous viruses, have adopted closed agencies in their territories that are not accountable to the government. Given the above, we have every reason to believe that US military-biological activity in the Collective Security Treaty Organization, CIS countries and other post-Soviet space countries, including Armenia, poses a threat to their national interests and the health and safety of the population. Not to mention that this threat will increase if the US decides to launch a bio-military strike on Russia, China and Iran from their territory.The reaction of these countries cannot be apriori predictable. And if so, joint precautionary measures are needed.
Printed from the newspaper "Erkramas": http//yerkramas.org
The United States has acknowledged the existence of secret biological laboratories in Ukraine
Foreign media about coronavirus, The United States has acknowledged the existence of secret biological laboratories in Ukraine
The US Embassy in Ukraine has officially acknowledged for the first time the existence of American biological laboratories in the country that are conducting tests on viruses. Such was the reaction of diplomats to the statement of MPs Renat Kuzmin and Viktor Medvedchuk of the Verkhovna Rada "Opposition Platform for Life" on April 14. The lawmakers sent a request to Vladimir Zelensky to confirm the deployment of at least 15 American biological laboratories in Ukraine, which are supervised by the US Department of Defense, according to the publication "Country".
The three-page appeal included a request to justify the existence of such laboratories, which operate in complete isolation from the public and are controlled by the Pentagon.
In the appeal, the authors argue that during the work of American laboratories in Ukraine from time to time there were outbreaks of unknown and various diseases that caused lethal consequences. According to the deputies of the Verkhovna Rada, virus strains were periodically leaked from laboratories at that time for one reason or another.
What specific lethal consequences are we talking about? The document states that as early as 11 years ago, a virus of unknown origin appeared in Ternopil, causing hemorrhagic pneumonia: 450 Ukrainians died. Cholera broke out in Ukraine in 2011 - 33 people died. In 2014, 800 Ukrainians became infected with cholera. In January 2016, 20 soldiers died of the flu-like virus in Kharkov, and 200 people were taken to hospital. Two months later, 364 fatalities were reported in the country. According to MPs, the cause of all deaths was swine flu with the same flu strain that caused the 2009 global pandemic.
The appeal states that the laboratory began operations in August 2005, during Yushchenko's presidency, was discontinued during Yanukovych's term, and resumed during Poroshenko's presidency. The idea of the need to activate the activities of such laboratories on the territory of Ukraine was actively lobbied by the Minister of Health of Ukraine in 2016-2019 Uliana Suprun. Deputies also named a completely astronomical sum - $ 2.1 billion, which was allocated by Washington for "biological experiments" around the world. This amount was spent on the accounts of the American "Threat Reduction Agency", which in turn allocates funds for the project in Ukraine.
This activity was also joined by the "Scientific-Technical Center in Ukraine" - an international scientific-industrial association established in 1993. The center is funded by the US government and its staff have diplomatic immunity, which is considered an exception in the practice of international law. "This organization is financing projects to create weapons of mass destruction," wrote members of the Verkhovna Rada. In addition to Ukraine and the United States, the organization includes the European Union, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova and Uzbekistan.
The Zelensky administration ignored this demand, and the Americans preferred to attend: they tried to convince the Ukrainian public that the work of the laboratory was carried out solely for scientific purposes and was of a peaceful nature. At the same time, the embassy did not forget to start searching for the "Moscow hand" again and said that the information in the appeal was "Russian disinformation".
"Our joint efforts are helping to ensure that dangerous pathogens do not fall into foreign hands. We are proud to work with the Ministry of Health, the State Food Safety and Consumer Protection Service of Ukraine, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences and the Ministry of Defense," the US diplomats said. Not a word is said that the project is under the full patronage of the Pentagon. As "Country" notes, the United States has more than 400 bacteriological laboratories worldwide. 15 of them are in Ukraine. Three are located in Lviv and near Kiev, the rest in Odessa, Vinnytsia, Uzhgorod, Kherson, Ternopil, as well as in the Kiev-controlled areas directly near Crimea and Lugansk. Some of them received between $ 1 million and $ 2 million for the tests. Journalists of the edition managed to gain access to the archives of the State Department website and find out the details of the agreement reached between Ukraine and the United States, which was signed on August 29, 2005. The agreement was signed by the US Department of Defense and the Ministry of Health of Ukraine. Under the agreement, Kiev undertook to send copies of dangerous pathogens to the Pentagon, which would be obtained as a result of research in Ukrainian laboratories. At the same time, the Ukrainian side should have kept the secret regime and in no case disclosed its activities, did not answer any questions from politicians and the public.
Finally, labs were required to "minimize the number of people working with restricted access information." According to Odessa journalist Yuri Tkachev, these studies can be called dual-purpose studies: on the one hand, they are really important in terms of assessing the risk of spreading this or that disease and developing recommendations to combat it. "On the other hand, the results of the research may be used to create bacteriological weapons for use in this or that region," Tkachev said.
We would like to remind you that in 2018, the former Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze presented a series of documentary materials on the activities of the American Lugar Laboratory in Georgia, which gained scandalous popularity, at a press conference in Moscow. The center was named in honor of the famous Russophobe, Indiana Senator Richard Lugar, who died last year. Giorgadze noted that the facility was fully funded by the United States, and Georgia's property rights were only a cover. This secret unit was supervised by the Pentagon with the support of the then President of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. The laboratory was located near the Georgian settlement of Alekseevka near Tbilisi, ostensibly to fight the hepatitis C epidemic in those areas. Rumors of experiments on humans and mysterious deaths of locals in the American laboratory have been circulating since 2010. Giorgadze presented to the public a series of confidential materials on the activities of the laboratory, which confirm the "unreasonable mortality" of the local population. The population was allegedly injected with drugs - "Harvol" and "Sovaldi", which were produced by the American company "Gileod". Ex-minister sources managed to obtain documents confirming the deaths of 181 people during the vaccine test. However, 20 of the dead were buried without any dissection and conclusion of forensic medical experts. Igor Kirilov, the commander of the Army of the Radiation, Chemical and Biological Protection Forces of the Russian Federation, said at the time that the center had tested a toxic chemical drug for the local population in the treatment of hepatitis C. Giorgadze addressed President Trump, a 108 Western human rights and humanitarian organization. No response was received from any of the instances.
Printed from the website: https://rg.ru/2020/04/24/ssha-priznali-nalichie-na-ukraine-sekretnyh-biologicheskih-laboratorij.html
Biological weapons near the Russian border
Foreign media about coronavirus, Biological weapons near the Russian border
The Russian Federation is seriously concerned about the activities of biological laboratories in Georgia and Ukraine, where foreign military biologists, mainly representatives of the Pentagon, are conducting secret experiments. US-created facilities are located too close to our borders. Alexander Lukashevich, the Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation, shared this concern with the members of the OSCE Permanent Council on June 11.
Lukashevich drew the attention of the participants to the activities of the dual-purpose bio-epidemiological laboratories established by the United States in the OSCE area. In particular, he touched upon the military-biological activity of foreign specialists in Georgia, mainly at the base of the Lugar Center in the Alekseevka settlement near Tbilisi. As well as the activities of more than 10 similar facilities operating on the territory of Ukraine.
According to the Russian diplomat, the construction, financing and operation of these laboratories is carried out by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) of the US Department of Defense, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases and several other Pentagon-affiliated medical organizations.
"Judging by the information leaked to the media, closed experiments are being conducted in Georgian and Ukrainian biolaboratories to fight infectious diseases using particularly dangerous pathogens, including those that cause the plague and hemorrhagic fever."
Particular attention is paid to the study of mutant forms, modification of viruses and enhancement of their contagiosity (transmission). Of concern are reports of suspicious drug experiments conducted by US military doctors on Georgian trials, as well as the collection of human biomass for some "research purposes," Lukashevich said. He said Moscow saw this as a failure by the United States to meet its commitments in biotechnology research and development as set out in the 1986 summary document of the Vienna Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Until January 1, 1995, this was the name of the OSCE.
"Experiments conducted by foreign military biologists on Russia's borders are of legitimate concern to us, including in the context of the implementation of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention. "Especially in the light of the fact that for two decades the United States has been blocking efforts to develop and adopt a protocol with a legally binding, effective verification mechanism for the Convention," he said.
He also said that instead of explaining the goals of U.S. military-biological activity in border states, Washington often referred only to the Pentagon's seemingly "highly humane cover-up." In practice, he persuades the Kremlin to trust the White House, as they say.
Some Ukrainian politicians are also concerned about the uncontrolled attempts of the transoceanic virus creators with shoulder straps.
The Ukrainian weekly socio-political magazine "Correspondent" revealed the secrets of American biolabs to its readers late last month.
The late May issue reported that the news agency "Українські новини" has published an official response to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine on the activities of bacteriological laboratories built or modernized in Ukraine under a contract with the US Department of Defense. The reply to the Ministry of Health states that "the terms of the contract provided assistance to Ukraine to prevent the spread of technology, pathogens and knowledge to" facilities "that may be used in the development of biological weapons."
But neither in the Soviet period, nor from the moment of the declaration of independence until the signing of the contract with the Pentagon, biological weapons were developed or tested. And lo and behold, America is offering assistance to facilities "that could be used to build biological weapons." According to the "correspondent", the Pentagon considers these facilities as manufacturers of biological weapons. It is simply impossible to draw any other conclusion. The only question is, according to the magazine, who actually produces such weapons - Kiev or Washington.
The edition notes that the US Department of Defense program, according to which biolaboratories were built or modernized in Ukraine, does not mention any similar structures of the country's military and none of the regional divisions of the Central Sanitary-Epidemiological Division of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine. It also indicates that the United States refused to sign an international protocol in 2001 that would have recognized 33 microorganisms as potential agents of biological weapons, as State Department experts considered Article 37 in the document to be "inconsistent with US national security interests."
An official response from the Ministry of Health states that eight biological laboratories have been built under the auspices of the DTRA in the Vinnytsia, Dnepropetrovsk, Zakarpattia, Lviv, Kharkiv, Kherson, Ternopil regions, as well as in the Crimean Republican Laboratory Center. It is also mentioned that the program under which these institutions were built was closed in 2014. However, according to media reports, the program was renewed in 2016, according to a memorandum signed between the Ministry of European Integration of Ukraine and the American company Black & Veatch Special Projects Corp. It was also announced that the goal of the joint venture is to involve Ukrainian laboratories in a unified electronic integrated disease monitoring system. According to the press, the registration card of the project already contains information on 13 objects. It also states that the aim of the project is to stop the spread of pathogens for the development of biological weapons, as well as "to expand the national network of diagnostic laboratories that work on particularly dangerous infections."
In late May, members of the Verkhovna Rada from the Opposition Platform for Life (OPS) party, Viktor Medvedev and Renat Kuzmin filed a formal complaint with the UN Human Rights Council alleging illegal activities of US biolaboratories in Ukraine. Kuzmin also wrote about it on his Facebook page and posted the text of the document. "Apart from the betrayal of national interests, what else can be explained by the fact that the Ukrainian authorities are hiding information about the secret experiments carried out by US military biologists in Ukraine?" Why should this information be secret for the Ukrainian people? Why do American military biologists, sheltered by diplomatic immunity, allow us to do what is forbidden to them? "Why are the Ukrainian authorities refusing to investigate the many cases of bacteriological infection and death of the Ukrainian population in the areas where American bacteriological laboratories are located?" The Ukrainian MP wrote that the party "Opposition Platform - for Life" has not received answers to these questions from the Ukrainian authorities. He was therefore forced to formally apply to the UN.
This is not the first time MPs from the Opposition Platform for Life party have raised the issue of American laboratories. In mid-April, a question about the labs was sent to President Vladimir Zelensky. In particular, it demanded an explanation of the legal norms under which these organizations operate in Ukraine and how their work is regulated.
The main problem in the current situation is that the Ukrainian government has no tools to control the activities of these laboratories. The current government is not independent and is guided by the curators of the US Embassy. This explains the attempt of the party "Opposition Platform - for Life" to find support for the relevant investigation in the UN.
In 2018, the world press published the results of the investigation of the Bulgarian journalist Diliana Gaitanjieva about the US military research program in different countries. He told readers about the Richard Lugar Public Health Center, which opened under the DTRA program in 2011 near Tbilisi International Airport.This third-degree biosecurity biolab is only available to U.S. specialists who have the right to work with classified information. According to official data, the center is engaged in research on biological hazards. Its specialists will study bioagents, viral diseases and collect biological samples for future experiments.
According to specialists, since 2014, when the laboratory was equipped with special equipment for breeding insects and the implementation of projects to collect, study and test for their level of infection, atypical cases of various diseases have been observed in Georgia.
Former Minister of State Security of Georgia Igor Giorgadze said at the end of 2018 that he had documents at his disposal that confirmed that dangerous experiments were being conducted at the research center. He also called on US President Donald Trump to investigate the activities of the laboratory. Georgia has called the allegations "absurd" and Moscow has said it is seeking US documents on the lab. On May 26, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation issued a comment stating that the Russian Federation expects an answer from Georgia regarding the entry of Russian specialists in the center of Lugar and expressed concern over the lack of information on the activities of the laboratory. Russia insists on "guaranteeing access to all the buildings of the laboratory," including those occupied by American specialists. Only in this way can a real review of the Centre's activities be provided and determine "the true direction of the work carried out by US military biologists near the Russian border."
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia states that Lugar Laboratory belongs entirely to Georgia. "The Lugar Center with all its equipment is completely transferred to the ownership of the Government of Georgia, and from 2018 the Lugar Center and the laboratory network are fully funded by the Government of Georgia. "Structurally, the Lugar Center is a subset of the Centers for Disease Control and is part of the Georgian Ministry of Health," the statement said, noting that US specialists "do not have the ability to conduct any research independently."
Nevertheless, such statements need careful verification. Especially when it comes to such a sensitive threat to Russia's national security near its borders.
It should be noted that after the collapse of the USSR, US biolabs were also set up in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Moldova. The number of laboratories set up on the perimeter of the Russian border is growing every year. Only American specialists have access to them and the results of the research. Local scientists and technicians are prohibited from entering buildings where particularly important and secret research is conducted.
Armenia, Ukraine and South Korea protest against the existence of bio laboratories
The global coronavirus pandemic has not only paralyzed economic activity around the world, but has also revealed a large number of socio-political problems in many countries. Political scandals related to the existence of US military bio laboratories have erupted because of coronavirus in countries such as Armenia, Ukraine and South Korea. Recent protests in Armenia and Ukraine have again called for the closure of US military bio laboratories operating in the country. In their demands, the speakers expressed concern that the new US testing viruses in these laboratories posed a deadly threat to both the country's population and the environment. That's why the protesters demanded the immediate closure of American bio laboratories.
Russian researcher Victoria Popova wrote in her article "American Bio-Laboratories in Armenia: Wonders of Multi-Vectorism" as early as 2017 that the entire network operates in Armenia - 12 bio-laboratories created or modernized with US military money under its Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP). In turn, it is part of the US Joint Program on Cooperative Biological Engagement Program (CBEP). Three of them are in Yerevan: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the State Food Service, and the Infectious Diseases Clinical Hospital "Nork". There are regional laboratories at the black plague prevention stations in Ijevan, Gyumri, Martuni, Sisian, Artashat, Vanadzor and other places. The scandal erupted in Armenia after 14 employees of the National Center for Disease Control and Public Health (NCDC) and the country's Ministry of Health became infected with the coronavirus. The party "Armenian Eagles - United Armenia" recently demanded the liquidation of all US sub-bio laboratories in the country within two months from Prime Minister N. Pashinian. A scandal is occurring in Ukraine over the activities of 11 American bio laboratories in the country. A few years ago, the media reported that American bio laboratories had been set up in Ukraine, but this information failed to gain attention. This time, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the opposition demanded that the government explain what is happening on the secret facilities.
Two lead deputies of the "Opposition Platform for Life" - Viktor Medvechuk and Renat Kuzmin (Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine in the past), have publicly called on the Ukrainian authorities to provide information on the activities of US bio laboratories.
"Independent Military Review" reviewer Vladimir Ivanov writes that after the collapse of the USSR, US bio laboratories were also set up in CIS countries such as Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Moldova and others. Only American specialists have access to them and the results of their research. Local scientists and technical staff are not allowed to enter the areas where the most important and secret surveys are conducted.
Foreign media has reported on the escalation of inter-Korean relations these days. One reason for this is the existence of American bio laboratories in South Korea. North Korea has once again requested the closure of US military bio laboratories in South Korea. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea, for several years has accused United States of preparing the start of a biochemical war. As early as 2018, according to "RIA Novosti", the Democratic People's Republic of Korea accused the United States of preparing for a biochemical war on the Korean Peninsula. Pyongyang's suspicions were linked to a US-South Korean program to set up a network of military biochemical laboratories, which also researches poisonous substances. It should be noted that with the spread of the coronavirus epidemic in South Korea, the protest of citizens has intensified due to the presence of American biochemical laboratories in the country. Protestants have demanded the closure of American biochemical laboratories in South Korea because they pose a major threat to both the country's population and South Korea's ecological security. South Koreans still remember well how the U.S. admitted in 2015 that it mistakenly sent live Anthrax to private laboratories in South Korea. The head of the Pentagon, Ashton Carter, personally apologized to the South Korean Minister of Defense, Han Min-Goo, for this.
Badri Nachkebia, Political scientist,
Doctor of History
Expert-consultant of several leading universities abroad
(Information is prepared based on internet materials)