Allies Finally Budge on Russian Conflict Diamonds


Following through on their commitment to “work collectively on further measures on Russian diamonds,” made after last month’s G-7 Summit, US and European Commission officials met March 6th to discuss with representatives of leading diamond retailers, manufacturers, laboratories, and industry trade associations  future Russia-related import measures.

Russia continues to earn billions of dollars from the diamond trade, and the discussion centered on the most effective and impactful ways to disrupt that revenue stream. Progress has been impeded by resistance from the Belgian government, which has now ended.

“Russian diamonds are blood diamonds,” Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said in a statement to Politico.“The revenue for Russia from diamonds can only stop if the access of Russian diamonds to Western markets is no longer possible. On forging that solid front, Belgium is working with its partners.”

US, but not European sanctions target Russia's Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond mining company, responsible for 90 percent of Russia’s diamond mining capacity and accounting for 28%, or nearly a third, of global diamond output. 



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