Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has appointed Gennady Onishchenko as an aide after dismissing him as head of Russia's Federal Service for Health and Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor).
Medvedev's spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova, said the reason for Onishchenko's dismissal was the expiration of a one-year contract with him that was signed when he turned 60.
Timakova said that Onishchenko's deputy, Anna Popova, was appointed as interim head of Rospotrebnadzor.
Onishchenko, appointed in March 2004, was the point man for Russia as the country announced temporary bans on a variety of food imports, such as Georgian and Moldovan wine, Ukrainian chocolate, and dairy products from Lithuania. Many of the bans were criticized as politically motivated.
Based on reporting by Itar-Tass and Interfax