TBILISI, DFWatch–Georgian Food Safety Service responds to the Russian chief sanitary inspector, who said that Georgia was planning ‘bio-sabotage’ in Russia.

Veriko Gulua, head of the Service’s press office told DF Watch that this statement is groundless and politically motivated.

Gennady Onishchenko, Russian Chief Sanitary Inspector of Rospotrebnadzor, claimed that the African swine fever epidemic spread to Russia from Georgia. Onishchenko told BBC and Interfax that the explosion of so-called African swine fever in Russia is a result of economic sabotage by Georgia.

“There is no suspicion that it really happened so. All this was implemented from Georgian territory and it was not a coincidence. This was a planned action, with a goal to destroy the Russian economy,” he told Interfax.

According to the Russian Minister of Agriculture, the loss suffered by the African swine fever epidemic since 2008 has been about USD 63 million. About 400 000 pigs were killed in this period, he said.

African swine fever has not been observed in Georgia since 2007, according to Georgia’s food safety service and the service therefore thinks Onishchenko’s statement is politically motivated.

In addition, Gulua told us there are plans to conduct a forensic testing of wild animals in order to determine how it is possible that this disease could spread from Georgia through wild animals on Russian territory, while it hasn’t been observed anywhere in Georgia.