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Two months of reprieve for French champagne in Russia


France has obtained from Russia a two-month moratorium on the implementation of the recent Russian law preventing champagne from using its own name in the Cyrillic alphabet, Foreign Trade minister Frank Riester told AFP on Tuesday.

“France has obtained from Russia the entry into force today of a moratorium on the implementation of the Russian wine law until December 31”, said the Minister in a written statement.“This does not solve everything, and we are determined to move the issue forward definitively during this opening period of work”, he added.

Since July 2, an amendment to the Russian law on trade in alcoholic products obliges champagne distributors to bartering the prestigious title of“champagne” against that of“sparkling wine” on the counter-label of the bottles written in Cyrillic, reserving the name “Champanskoye” for Russian producers of sparkling wines.

This provision of the law has aroused this summer a strong indignation of champagne producers and distributors, anxious to protect their protected designation of origin, as well as the strong protests of several French ministers.

The Comité interprofessionnel du vin de Champagne (CIVC), which had advised producers at the beginning of July to temporarily suspend their exports to Russia, in reaction to this new provision of the law, ruled on September 11 for the resumption of shipments to Russia from September 15, in a gesture of appeasement.

Russia is, with the United States or Haiti, one of the states not to recognize the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) “champagne” despite twenty years of discussions.


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