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9 Nov, 2023 07:53

Russian diamonds leave G7 divided

Earlier reports suggested that the group would introduce a ban by the end of October
Russian diamonds leave G7 divided

The Group of Seven (G7) nations have not reached consensus regarding sanctions on the Russian diamond industry, according to a statement by foreign ministers published on Wednesday following a meeting in Tokyo.

In a section dedicated to the Ukraine conflict, the group reiterated its earlier pledge to pursue its sanctions policy against Russia. However, with regard to Russian diamonds, it only undertook to “accelerate our consultation on energy, metals, and all non-industrial diamonds, including those mined, processed or produced in Russia.

Imports of rough diamonds from Russia were either banned or partially restricted by the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand last year. The G7 and the EU have also been considering a broader ban over the past several months, which envisages the restriction of both direct purchases of diamonds from Russia and a mechanism that would prevent indirect imports of rough gems of Russian origin.

According to media reports, citing sources close to the discussions, the countries plan to introduce a special tracking system that would include physical checks of packages containing stones, and compulsory traceability data for diamond producers and traders.

According to earlier media reports, the G7 and the EU were set to outline the measures by the end of October. The ban was expected to be included in the upcoming 12th package of the EU’s anti-Russia sanctions and enforced by the G7 by January 1, 2024.

However, a senior EU diplomat told Reuters on Monday that Brussels was still waiting for the G7 to come up with “some sort of proposal” detailing the ban in order to work out their own sanctions on Russian diamonds.

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