The Jerusalem Post
France may refer Moscow to WTO over champagne
PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Tuesday it may refer Russia to the World Trade Organization (WTO) over Moscow’s plans to force champagne producers to add the designation “sparkling wine” to their products sold in Russia.
Moscow has adopted legislation requiring a “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.
Some French producers – who assert that only products from France’s Champagne region should be sold as champagne – interpreted the legislation as an effort to benefit Russian winemakers at their expense.
“Once we have considered (the Russian legislation), we will act in the coming days in respect of the Russian authorities,” French Foreign
Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a parliament session.
“If by chance there are proven violations of the rules of the
World Trade Organization, we will seek recourse in the way we have previously envisaged to do with Russia,” Le Drian said.