The G7 and EU are preparing to impose sanctions on the import of gemstones mined in Russia, including those that have been cut and polished in other countries. This move comes as a result of ongoing debates among G7 countries over the past year regarding sanctions on Russian diamonds. The announcement of these sanctions is expected to be made formally by the G7 in September.
According to reports, the terms for tracking and tracing individual gemstones are currently being finalized, along with the details for the accompanying customs paperwork. The implementation of these restrictions is likely to occur in January, after the holiday retail season. However, it is worth noting that jewelry shoppers may experience a rise in prices as a result.
The decision to impose sanctions on Russian diamonds has faced opposition from major gem importers such as Belgium, which is home to the world’s largest diamond trading hub in Antwerp. Despite the opposition, G7 leaders have pledged to restrict trade in diamonds mined, processed, or produced in Russia in order to further reduce Moscow’s revenues. They claim that this move will curb the estimated $4.5 billion Russian diamond trade through the use of high-tech tracing methods.
However, experts argue that the task of tracing the origin of diamonds is highly complex due to the fact that diamonds can change hands between 20 and 30 times before reaching the market. This makes it incredibly challenging to track the origin of each diamond. Hans Merket, a researcher with the International Peace Information Service, highlighted the importance of finding the right balance between ambition and realism when implementing these sanctions. He warned that it could take several years to reorganize the complex global supply chain of diamonds.
It is important to note that the US and UK have already banned imports of Russian rough diamonds. However, Washington still permits the import of gems that have been extracted in Russia if they have undergone substantial alterations in other countries. Similarly, Canada and New Zealand have adopted similar measures against the Russian mining giant Alrosa.
Despite these sanctions, Moscow has reoriented its diamond supplies. China, India, the UAE, Armenia, and Belarus have all experienced a significant increase in the import of rough and cut stones from Russia.
In conclusion, the G7 and EU are gearing up to impose sanctions on the import of gemstones mined in Russia. While the terms for tracking and tracing individual gemstones are still being finalized, the effects of these restrictions on the global supply chain and prices of jewelry remain uncertain. As debates continue and details are ironed out, the effort to curb Moscow’s diamond trade is expected to be a complex and lengthy process.