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Russian Consumer Protection Chief Reportedly Steps Down

Russian consumer protection chief Gennady Onishchenko

Russian consumer protection chief Gennady Onishchenko

The fate of Gennady Onishchenko, the controversial head of Russia's Federal Service for Health and Consumer Rights (Rospotrebnadzor), remains unclear.

It has been widely reported that Onishchenko had stepped down after his term of office had expired.

But the office of Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said no order had been signed on Onishchenko leaving his post.

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.

In the past, he blamed some Tajik migrant laborers of bringing diseases such as polio to Russian cities and accused Georgia of purposely sending diseased pigs to Russia.

Based on reporting by "Kommersant,", and Interfax