Russia has agreed to suspend until 31 December a new law that forces French champagne makers to label their bottles as sparkling wine, French deputy trade minister Franck Riester has said.
"After many discussions, Russia is establishing a moratorium on the implementation of its wine law until 31 December. We will continue our efforts to protect our exporters in the long term," Riester said on Twitter.
Bonne nouvelle pour nos producteurs de #Champagne, vins et spiritueux : après de nombreux échanges, la Russie instaure un moratoire sur la mise en oeuvre de sa loi viti-vinicole jusqu'au 31 décembre. 🇷🇺 Nous continuerons nos efforts pour protéger nos exportateurs à long terme. pic.twitter.com/HcT6vfiDyL
— Franck Riester (@franckriester) October 26, 2021
The law required foreign producers of sparkling wine to describe their product as such in Cyrillic characters on the back of the bottle - though not on the front, where they can use the term champagne. Makers of Russian "shampanskoye" may continue to use that term alone.
The law led the French government to threaten action at the World Trade Organisation.
Champagne Producers Welcome Decision
Champagne producers welcomed Russia's decision to suspend its new wine law.
Champagne industry group CIVC said in an emailed statement it was monitoring further talks between Russia and France by the end of the year for a full recognition of the Champagne appellation in Russia.
CIVC had asked its producers to boycott Russia following the introduction of the law in July but producers said last month they had decided to resume exports.
In September, the top European Union court backed French champagne makers who had argued that their protection under EU law should extend far beyond banning rival sparkling wine producers from putting the word 'champagne' on their bottles.