West prepares strike on Russian diamonds, key country changes position - FT

Belgium, which blocked the introduction of sanctions against Russian diamonds in the EU, changed its decision. Thus, it is likely that the EU will include "diamond" sanctions in the list of restrictions against Russia.

Moreover, according to Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Kroh, Belgium now wants to take the lead in the West's efforts "to restrain Russian financial flows from the diamond trade. The Financial Times (FT) reports the G7 is also preparing a blow to Russia's diamond industry.

"We want to squeeze Russian diamonds from Western markets. But with the existing direct bans on Russian diamonds, we won't achieve that. They have not had a significant impact on the financial flows of the Russian war machine," de Crowe is quoted as saying.

Belgian authorities have repeatedly expressed fears that sanctions would harm the diamond trade in Antwerp. Now, the solution is seen in the introduction (along with bans) of a system to monitor the origin of diamonds. According to the FT, that position is supported by the G7, but a clear mechanism has not yet been proposed.

Earlier, the U.S. - the world's largest producer of rough diamonds - had already rejected stones of Russian origin. The United States imposed sanctions on Russian diamond giant Alrosa back in April 2022. It is also forbidden to import Russian diamonds into the country.

"The G7 capitals will soon join Washington in supporting efforts to reduce revenues from diamond mining in Russia. The goal is to introduce an effective mechanism for tracing individual gems, which does not yet exist. The G7 hopes this will pave the way for an EU ban on Russian diamonds," the newspaper notes.

Alrosa accounts for about 28% of the world's diamond production, according to Treasury estimates. In Russia, the group's share reaches 90%. Diamonds are among Russia's top 10 non-energy exports.

As reported by OBOZREVATEL, the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, announced the 11th package of the EU sanctions against Russia on May 9 in Kyiv. Von der Leyen's statement did not mention any restrictions on imports of Russian diamonds.

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