On May 20, Sputnik-Ossetia and a South Ossetian “governmental TV channel” PEC published a statement by the South Ossetian KGB that accused Lugar Laboratory of collecting biological materials near the border. The Security Committee of South Ossetia also mentions that the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) was providing help to the Lugar Lab in this regard by providing transportation at the border for the doctors. The statement comes with a photographic material depicting an EUMM car and an ambulance car of a company called Private. The photos are taken on April 26, 2020.
South Ossetian KGB: “The activity of an American biolaboratory in Georgia and the attempt to collect the biological materials is a direct continuation of genocide of the South Ossetian citizens.”
EUMM calls the statement of the South Ossetian KGB disinformation and claims that patrol cars of the EUMM have been accompanied by the ambulance cars since the day of inception and that it is an indivisible part of a security protocol, while the statements regarding the Lugar Lab lack evidence.
In response to the disseminated statement, the EUMM published a press-release on May 21 where it labelled the fake reports as irresponsible disinformation. The mission explained that the ambulance cars have accompanied the mission patrol cars since the day of its inception and that they are an indivisible part of the security protocol.
EUMM: “Ambulance cars have been present with EUMM patrols since its inception. They are a standard precautionary measure. It is part of our duty of care towards our staff that they accompany EUMM personnel so that they can swiftly provide the necessary help in case of need, such as a car accident. This is particularly important in remote areas where speedy medical support is difficult to obtain.”
The ambulance car, depicted on the KGB’s photos, belongs to a private medical company Private. The company indicates on its webpage that it has been working with the EUMM since 2015 and provides full medical service to it.
The material by Sputnik-Ossetia relies solely on one source and does not include the EUMM’s position on the issue.