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Russian Agricultural Watchdog Suspects PepsiCo Company of Cyberattack

© AP PhotoPepsiCo Inc view. (File)
PepsiCo Inc view. (File) - Sputnik International
PepsiCo, which currently holds leading positions in the Russian beverage market in segments such as carbonated, non-carbonated and energy drinks, tried to gain access to secret information of the Russian state bodies, according to Rosselkhoznadzor.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) Russia’s Federal Service for Veterinary and Phytosanitary Surveillance (Rosselkhoznadzor) suspects the US company PepsiCo of launching a hacker attack, the watchdog’s spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

"The service has made a decision about the possible hacker attack from the US company PepsiCo, aimed at gaining access to secret information of the Russian state bodies," Rosselkhoznadzor spokeswoman Yulia Melano told reporters.

The preliminary results of Rosselkhoznadzor’s internal investigation have shown that the organizations’s employees, who had access to the internal document, demonstrated by Glushkov, have not sent the document to other entities, the spokeswoman added. Despite that, Rosselkhoznadzor’s head Sergey Dankvert, his deputy Nikolai Vlasov, and Tatyana Balagula, the head of the organization’s Directorate for Domestic Veterinary Surveillance, can confirm that Glushkov possesses this internal document, Melano pointed out.

READ MORE: Spanish Intelligence Center: Hacker Attacks Are Not Authorized by Foreign States

"Given the fact that this internal document, which has been illegally obtained by the mentioned company, includes information about a Rosselkhoznadzor laboratory's monitoring of milk processing enterprises, the PepsiCo corporation's entities, thanks to this secret information, had competitive advantage over Russian companies, and were ready for inspections. This fact can be considered corporate espionage," Melano pointed out.

On Monday, Rosselkhoznadzor said that Sergei Glushkov, vice president for corporate affairs at PepsiCo, demonstrated at a meeting of the watchdog’s leadership with the National Union of Milk Producers, a copy of the watchdog’s internal document, marked "for internal use," which had not been sent to the company. The watchdog suggested that PepsiCo has illegally obtained the information. Glushkov, in his turn, told Sputnik, that his company has not presented any "internal use" documents to Rosselkhoznadzor’s leadership, and sought only legal means of cooperating with the Russian authorities.

UPDATE: PepsiCo refutes the watchdog's accusations in a statement obtained by Sputnik:

"We strictly comply with rules and regulations in Russia and all the countries in which we operate."

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