France to resume champagne exports to Russia as talks bid falls flat

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By euronews
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France's champagne industry is advising producers to resume exports to Russia after halting shipments in the summer.

They were stopped in July after Russia passed a law that reserved the label "champanskoie" for Russian sparkling wine producers. It also made French producers remove "champagne" and put "sparkling wine" instead.

That is despite it having Protected Designation of Origin designation, which within the EU and UK means only sparkling wines from the French region of Champagne can be called champagne.

But now the Interprofessional Committee for Champagne Wine (CIVC) is advising champagne producers to resume shipments. 

The suspension is being lifted because Russian authorities have not responded to several letters sent by French ministers.

The letter came from the Minister for Foreign Trade Franck Riester and the Ministers of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, and of Agriculture, Julien Denormandie.

One of the reasons given by the committee for the resumption of shipments was to appease and avoid bringing the case to the World Trade Organisation as well as avoiding penalising Russian consumers and clients.

Speaking at a meeting with French authorities about potential negotiations with the Russian side, the director of the committee, Charles Goemaere said: "It's important for us to be able to restart the shipments to Russia. So, that's number one. Number two is to discuss and negotiate a good solution that preserves our right to use the name."

Additional sources • AFP