France “hopes” to obtain a “moratorium” very soon on the recent Russian law preventing champagne from using its own name in the Cyrillic alphabet, announced Thursday the Minister for Foreign Trade, Franck Riester, on France 2. “We are in discussions for several weeks now with the Russian authorities “, who are” in a positive, constructive state of mind “on this issue, the minister said in the broadcast Telematin.
“This is not something acceptable and we are working with them in a very positive way. I hope that we will be able to have good news in the hours or days which come from a moratorium on this law which does not correspond to the law in matters of geographical indication ”, he continued.
Since July 2, a modification of the Russian law on the trade of alcoholic products obliges the distributors of champagne to exchange the prestigious title of “champagne” for that of “sparkling wine” on the back-label of the bottles written in Cyrillic, reserving the name “Champanskoye” to Russian producers of sparkling wines. This provision of the law aroused this summer a strong indignation of producers and distributors of champagne, anxious to protect their protected designation of origin, as well as the strong protests of several French ministers.
The Interprofessional Committee of Champagne Wine (CIVC), which had advised producers in early 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, along with the United States and Haiti, one of the states not to recognize the “champagne” designation of origin (AOC) despite twenty years of discussions.