Trouble bubbles in France-Russia Champagne row

France is determined to protect its Champagne sector from a new Russian law, French ministers said on Friday (July 9).

New Russian legislation will force French producers to attach a label to bottles sold in Russia with the description 'sparkling wine'.

Russian producers of what is known in the country as "shampanskoye" won't have to use such a label.

French Agriculture Minister Julien Denormandie.

"It's no longer possible to use the word 'Champagne' when we sell bottles of French Champagne in Russia. And the government's position on this matter is very clear: Champagne is French, and it comes from the Champagne region."

The name 'Champagne' has protected status in more than 120 countries, which reserves its use for sparkling wine from France's Champagne region.

The French government has warned it could even go to the World Trade Organization to solve the issue.

Though French Junior Trade Minister Franck Riester says he wants more talks with Russia.

"We think that the path of negotiation is the best possible path so that we can obtain the protection for these geographic designations. We are determined to protect the interests of these sectors, the interest of the Champagne sector."

A Champagne industry representative said Russia had shown a willingness to negotiate.

But French producers have been advised to halt export operations towards Russia for the moment.

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