May 19, 2023

G7 leaders announce new sanctions on Russian diamonds

Ukraine, Russia sign grain export deal

The G7 announced plans to restrict the trade in diamonds with Russia in an effort to cut the revenues that fund Moscow’s ongoing war against Ukraine.

Leaders of the G7 countries announced the new sanctions in a joint statement on Friday, the first day of their three-day summit in Hiroshima, Japan.

The statement said there would also be cooperation with partner countries to enforce the measures.

The new sanctions will “increase the costs to Russia and those who are supporting its war effort,” according to the statement, which was approved by the heads of state and government of the US, Germany, France, Britain, Italy, Japan and Canada as well as the top representatives of the European Union (EU).

However, the precise details of how the sanctions on Russian diamonds will work were not immediately released.

According to EU sources, diamond-tracing technology will be used to ensure that Russian diamonds can still be identified after being resold via other countries such as India or the United Arab Emirates.

In the EU, the trade in Russian diamonds has already fallen by around 80 per cent as a result of voluntary commitments.

But there have not yet been formal EU restrictions on Russian diamonds, in part because of resistance from Belgium, a major global centre of diamond trading.

Russia is the world’s largest producer of rough diamonds. The trade in gemstones is an important industry for the country and a significant source of income.

State diamond mining group, Alrosa, had revenues of 332 billion rubles (around $4 billion) in 2021, the last year in which it disclosed revenue figures. (NAN)