France economy

France, Russia Consider Talks To End Champagne Dispute


PARIS (Reuters) – France and Russia have agreed to negotiate to resolve a dispute over a new Russian law that requires French champagne makers to label their bottles as sparkling wine, the French agriculture ministry said on Saturday.

Since July, all foreign suppliers to Russia must use the words “sparkling wine” on the back of the bottles. Only local producers can use the “shampanskoye” label – the Russian equivalent of champagne.

The law outraged French champagne producers, who halted shipments to Russia, and led the French government to threaten action with the World Trade Organization.

French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie said in a Twitter post that he agreed with Sergey Levin, Russia’s Deputy Agriculture Minister, to work on a solution to the problem.

This would involve setting up a working group made up of officials and industry representatives from both countries, a ministry spokeswoman added.

The move comes days after French champagne producers, who make sparkling wine from grapes from the Champagne region of northeastern France and whose label is protected in many countries, decided to take over the exports to Russia.

(Reporting by Gus Trompiz; Editing by Christina Fincher)