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Russian minister suggests labeling wines produced domestically from imported ingredients

August 25, 2015, 20:49 UTC+3 MOSCOW

There will be no direct ban on the use of imported ingredients by Russian wine makers

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© ITAR-TASS/Valery Matytsin

MOSCOW, August 25. / TASS / Russian Agriculture Minister Alexander Tkachev has proposed to place labels on wines manufactured in Russia from imported materials, he said in an interview with Russian TV channel RBC on Tuesday.

"We can just give the right to choose to the customers through certification, through labeling. Write that the wine was made or bottled at a Russian winery from Argentine, Chilean, Moldovan wine material and so on," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, First Deputy Agriculture Minister Yevgeny Gromyko told journalists at the opening of the 24th Agrorus exhibition in St. Petersburg that there will be no direct ban on the use of imported ingredients by Russian wine makers. "No direct ban is due. We’ve just proposed a topic for discussion," he said.

"We are not competitive as far as imported ingredients for wine-making are concerned. We will never produce products of our own if we don’t set such ambitious tasks," Gromyko said.

On August 24, Russia’s Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said he is "cautious" about the idea of banning imports of wine materials. "I am very cautious about this proposal. There are issues with the WTO, issues with our wine producers, as they strongly depend on materials supplies. We shouldn't make rash decisions," Ulyukayev said.

As TASS reported earlier, Russian Agricultural Minister Alexander Tkachev on August 23 criticized wine materials import to Russia. According to him, importing and bottling such products under Russian brands is unacceptable. Tkachev said that it is necessary either to significantly increase customs duties, or to ban import of wine materials in order to stop such actions.

At the same time, the Chairman of the Board of Directors at Abrau-Durso Pavel Titov said that "the Agriculture Ministry wants to leave Russia without New Year, as 9 out of 10 bottles of champagne in Russia was either imported, or was based on import wine material." Very few producers work with Russian wine material, Titov added.

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