G7 might announce an indirect ban on Russian diamonds

A Belgian government official expects the Group of Seven countries to announce an indirect ban on the trade in Russian diamonds.

Reuters reported this on September 15. According to a Belgian official, an announcement of an indirect ban on Russian diamonds is expected in the next 2-3 weeks.

According to the report, the ban itself should come into force in January.

“The Group of Seven announced plans to restrict diamond trade with Russia to cut revenues that finance Russia’s war against Ukraine in May. But since then, details of how the sanctions will work have yet to be announced”.

Trade in Russian diamonds has already fallen in the EU due to voluntary commitments. However, due to Belgian resistance, the EU has not imposed official restrictions on Russian diamonds.

Russia is the world’s largest diamond producer. Trade in precious stones is an important industry and a significant source of income for the Russian Federation.

Sanctions and embargoes imposed by the West are intended to deplete Vladimir Putin’s war chest finally. However, diamond exports from Russia have not been impacted. Belgium was the source of the opposition because it wanted to defend its industry. 

Last year, at the insistence of Brussels, the EU omitted diamond mining giant Alrosa in the sanctions against Russia for its war against Ukraine.

The US has a different viewpoint. The country banned Russian diamonds. According to the Treasury Department in Washington, Alrosa allegedly assisted Putin in financing his war. The Yakutia region and the Russian state control 66% of the group. Its owner was among the first oligarchs to receive US sanctions because the US views him as a close ally of Putin.

The Russian state-owned company Alrosa mines diamond far in eastern Russia, between the forests and glaciers of the Siberian region of Yakutia, and sells them to Europe even though Putin’s war against Ukraine has almost been ongoing for over a year and a half. 

Alrosa’s ties to the Kremlin are undeniable. It is said that 30 years ago, the group financed the B-871 Alrosa diesel-electric submarine for the Russian Navy. It has been modernized several times and equipped with cruise missiles; it is still in service with the fleet. The fact that Europe bans coal, oil, and steel from Russia but not jewellery seems even harder to understand.

Russian propaganda news outlet Tass claimed that the Alrosa submarine had completed an eight-year overhaul that included equipping it with Kalibr cruise missiles. The same cruise missiles are striking Ukrainian cities, killing innocent civilians, and destroying energy infrastructure.

Read also: Russian diamonds continue entering EU market, will they be added to sanctions list?

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