Armenia, EU in negotiations over use of word "cognac"

2013-04-18 13:07:39 GMT2013-04-18 21:07:39(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

YEREVAN, Armenia, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Garegin Melkonyan, the deputy economy minister, said that Armenia and the European Union are discussing its use of the word "cognac" for some beverages it produces.

Melkonyan told reporters Thursday that during negotiations with the EU over the establishment of a free trade zone, Armenia's use of the word "cognac" was being discussed.

The Agreement on the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Zone assumes mutual recognition and protection of registered geographical names.

The word "cognac" is protected by European legislation and is registered as a geographical name. Armenia has been telling its European partners that "cognac" is domestically perceived merely as a type of production.

In Soviet Armenia, cognac was the name of an alcoholic beverage that was also well-known in other parts of the former Soviet Union.

However, since gaining independence from the former Soviet Union, France challenged Armenia's use of the name. Cognac is a city in France where the alcoholic beverage was first made. This led to the widespread use of the term "brandy."

In 1998, after the famous French company Pernod Ricard purchased the Ararat Brandy Factory in Yerevan, its production once again bore the right to use the word "cognac" on its bottles.

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