Secretly trading with Russia to circumvent sanctions: one of the largest diamond producers is declared an international sponsor of war
The National Agency for the Prevention of Corruption (NAPC) has added one of the world's largest diamond producers, the Indian company Shree Ramkrishna Exports (SRK), to the list of international sponsors of war. The company defies sanctions and purchases diamonds from Russia. Being included in the list threatens SRK with serious losses of reputation at the global level.
The company was added to the War and Sanctions list as an international war sponsor on September 15. The list is compiled by the NACP jointly with the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The agencies are calling for a boycott of products and services of companies on the list.
According to the NACP itself, the Indian company continues to cooperate with the aggressor by purchasing diamonds from Russia, despite the sanctions imposed on Russia in this area. In 2023, the company tripled its diamond purchases from Russia compared to 2021.
"Despite the international sanctions imposed in April 2022 against the world's largest diamond miner, Russia's Alrosa, SRK continued to buy diamonds in Russia, concluding "secret deals" to purchase gems worth hundreds of millions of dollars," the statement said.
At the same time, SRK assures its customers that the diamonds allegedly "come only from countries participating in the Kimberley Process and are not of conflict origin." However, statistics show otherwise.
In 2022, Shree Ramkrishna Exports, according to the NACP, purchased more than $198 million worth of diamonds from Russia. In 2023, in the first half of the year alone, it purchased more than $132 million worth of diamonds.
Moreover, in December 2021, Arpit Narola, a member of the company's board of directors, spoke to Russian propagandists and said that Russia and India's cooperation was "developing and growing at the speed of the S-400 missile." "This also indicates the possible ideological support of Russia's militaristic policy by the Indian company," the NACP said.
"Thus, while other Western companies avoid the Russian market, Shree Ramkrishna Exports is actively buying Russian diamonds on favorable terms, thereby actively sponsoring aggression against Ukraine," the agency summarized.
What does the status of an international war sponsor mean?
SRK is not the first company to be included in the list. The list already includes PepsiCo, Mars, Şişecam Group, Japan Tobacco International, Philip Morris International, Alibaba Group Holding Limited, Bacardi, Unilever, Raiffeisen Bank International, Auchan, Metro, Procter & Gamble, Bonduelle, Mondelez, Leroy Merlin, Xiaomi, Geely and many others.
The companies included in the list of international sponsors of war are included in the World-Check database. This does not threaten them with closure, but the database is used worldwide to identify and manage financial, regulatory, and reputational risks.
For example, earlier the American corporation Mondelez International faced a boycott in Europe after being included in the Ukrainian list of international war sponsors. The Scandinavian countries were the most active in joining it. After that, Mondelez even announced its intention to wind down its business in Russia. However, the boycott has not stopped, as the company still has no plans to completely withdraw from the Russian market.
However, all of these companies on the list are still operating in Ukraine, as the NACP does not have the authority to close international businesses or restrict their operations. But if the National Security and Defense Council imposes sanctions against such businesses, the situation may change.
As reported by OBOZREVATEL, one of the candidates for inclusion in the list of war sponsors was the popular Italian mattress manufacturer Magniflex. The company openly continues to operate and pay taxes in Russia.