G7 to announce Russian diamond ban – Reuters
A ban on the import of Russian diamonds by the G7 is set to go public by the end of the current month, followed closely by the EU’s proposal for a 12th package of sanctions against Moscow, Reuters reported on Wednesday, citing diplomatic sources.
“We now need the final blessing of the G7 before then translating these elements in legal texts at the European level,” an EU diplomat told the outlet.
The G7 – which consists of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the US – announced they were planning to place an embargo on direct and indirect imports of Russian diamonds following a long period of debate within the group.
Belgium had previously stalled the efforts of Western allies to bar Russian diamonds, warning that Antwerp – through which 90% of the world’s precious stones pass – would risk losing business to Dubai if the embargo was passed.
However, the nation has now come up with its own diamond ban. Under the Belgian proposal, the G7 could introduce a diamond tracking system that is similar to the SWIFT international messaging system between banks. The mechanism would subsequently prevent diamonds that originated in Russia from entering global markets.
So far, imports of Russian rough diamonds have been barred by the US, UK, Canada, and New Zealand. Washington does, however, allow purchasing gems that were extracted in Russia but processed in other countries.
Meanwhile, Russia has been redirecting its diamond trade to alternative markets, including China, India, the UAE, Armenia, and Belarus.
Earlier this month, media outlets reported that the G7 had restricted Russian diamonds of one carat and above processed by Indian cutters from entering its market. The group added that it had no objections, however, to traders buying rough diamonds from Russia, polishing them, and selling them to any other market.
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