According to diplomatic sources cited by Reuters, the G7 is expected to announce a ban on the import of Russian diamonds by the end of this month. The European Union (EU) is also reportedly planning to propose a 12th package of sanctions against Moscow. An EU diplomat stated that they are awaiting the final approval from the G7 before proceeding with the translation of these measures into legal texts at the European level.
The G7, which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the US, has been engaged in long deliberations and debates regarding the imposition of an embargo on both direct and indirect imports of Russian diamonds. Previously, Belgium had hindered the efforts of Western allies to ban Russian diamonds due to concerns that Antwerp, through which 90% of the world’s precious stones pass, would lose business to Dubai if the embargo was passed.
However, Belgium has now put forward its own proposal for a diamond ban. The Belgian proposal suggests the implementation of a diamond tracking system similar to the SWIFT international messaging system used by banks. This tracking mechanism would effectively prevent diamonds originating from Russia from entering global markets.
Currently, the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand have already imposed restrictions on the import of Russian rough diamonds. However, the US does allow the purchase of gems that were extracted in Russia but processed in other countries. In response, Russia has redirected its diamond trade to alternative markets such as China, India, the UAE, Armenia, and Belarus.
Earlier this month, reports emerged that the G7 had limited the entry of Russian diamonds of one carat or more, processed by Indian cutters, into its market. However, the group clarified that it had no objections to traders purchasing rough diamonds from Russia, polishing them, and selling them to any other market.
The proposed ban on Russian diamonds by the G7 and the EU’s plan for additional sanctions against Moscow reflect ongoing tensions between Russia and Western nations. These measures aim to put pressure on Russia regarding its actions on various international fronts. It remains to be seen how these developments will play out and what impact they will have on the global diamond market.
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