France to talk to Russia about champagne labeling issue – minister

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PARIS — The French government will talk to Russian authorities in coming days about the labeling of champagne in Russia as sparkling wine, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said in the Senate on Wednesday.

He said that Russia’s new champagne labeling law is a protectionist initiative and that France will act on a European level to protect its wine producers’ interests. He also reiterated that France is ready to take the case to the World Trade Organisation.

Moscow plans to force champagne producers to add the designation “sparkling wine” to their products sold in Russia and has adopted legislation requiring the “sparkling wine” label be added to bottles of foreign fizz, while Russian producers of the local version, “shampanskoye,” do not have to add the label. (Reporting by GV De Clercq; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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