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France makes first move to appease Champagne/shampanskoïe dispute

By Vitisphere July 19, 2021
France makes first move to appease Champagne/shampanskoïe dispute
“We are hopeful that the translation of OIV's work into Russian [...] will encourage the Russian Federation to adopt wine standards that fully comply with international standards”, said a French diplomat. - crédit photo : Zoom Meeting

ome coincidences can be extremely ironic. At its AGM in Paris on July 12, the International Organisation of Vine and Wine discussed recognising Russian as the organisation’s sixth official language, just ten days after the Russian Federation adopted a federal law reserving the transcription of ‘champagne’ into Cyrillic (i.e. ‘shampanskoye’) for Russian sparkling wines only; Champagne can keep its Latin designation, but must be labelled in Russian as ‘sparkling wine’.

For the non-diplomats, the OIV vote could have been seen as an opportunity to get their own back on Russia. For those eager to resolve a deepening rift and avoid further escalation, the idea is that it is better to bend over backwards to ensure negotiations get off to a good start. By voting in favour of recognising Russian as OIV’s sixth official language, France’s representative was keen to explain to the general assembly the rationale behind supporting the move: “The atmosphere surrounding today's discussions is unusual because France is very concerned about the recent adoption by the Russian Federation of a law introducing new requirements for wine labelling. From our perspective, the law marks a step backwards in the way foreign wines imported into the Russian market are treated”. However, the French diplomat felt that “the issue should be the subject of ad hoc discussions between the parties concerned, in order to find common solutions. […] We believe that OIV must be able to work in a climate of peace, as befits the technical nature of the organisation. This is therefore the spirit in which the French delegation has decided to vote in favour of the draft decision”.




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