According to Statista, despite extensive sanctions against the Russian Federation since it waged an all-out war in Ukraine on February 24, Russian diamonds continue to enter the European Union market.
The National Bank of Belgium’s data was used to create the displayed chart. Although the trade value had significantly decreased by August, there had been a significant increase in June, four months into the war, when nearly €400 million of diamonds were shipped into Belgium from Russia.
Peace is more valuable than any diamonds – Zelensky
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the addition of diamonds to the list of sanctions in March, saying that “peace was more valuable than any diamonds.” However, pressure to include diamonds in the sanctions list has been rebuffed.
Poland and the Baltic states want to include diamonds in the 9th round of sanctions
The Guardian reported that Poland and the Baltic states are urging the EU to include diamonds in its ninth round of sanctions against Russia. The EU officials have assured that a new package of restrictions will be implemented in December.
Despite the horrific war in Ukraine, which has prevented billions of dollars worth of trade, Belgium still imports diamonds from Russia in significantly smaller amounts.
The EU no longer purchases several Russian products, including gold, caviar, and vodka, and has stopped importing Russian coal and most Russian oil. However, diamonds continue to get through the sanctions list.
Sergei Ivanov, CEO of Alrosa, is on the sanctions list
Even though the Russian state controls Alrosa, the country’s diamond industry, the trade with the EU has continued. Alrosa belongs to Russia and the republic of Yakutia, a sizable part of northern Siberia where most of the company’s mines are located.
On the first day of Russia’s all-out war against Ukraine, Sergei Sergeevich Ivanov, the CEO of Alrosa, was among the first billionaires to receive sanctions from the US.
Washington claims that his father, Sergei Borisovich Ivanov, a former Russian defense minister who is also subject to US sanctions, is one of President Putin’s closest allies.
Russian diamond company funded a submarine carrying cruise missiles
Furthermore, according to internal corporate documentation and the European Commission, the company has funded a B-871 assault submarine known as the Alrosa.
In June, 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.