The Group of Seven (G7) nations have pledged to focus on keeping Russian diamonds out of the market, while the UK will ban them completely.
“In order to reduce the revenues that Russia extracts from the export of diamonds, we will continue to work closely together to restrict trade in and use of diamonds mined, processed or produced in Russia,” leaders of the bloc said Friday in a statement on the White House government website, following a meeting in Hiroshima, Japan.
They will also “engage with key partners with the aim of ensuring effective implementation of future coordinated restrictive measures, including through tracing technologies,” the statement continued.
The G7 comprises Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US, as well as the European Union (EU). Many of those introduced their own measures after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. For instance, the US imposed sanctions on diamonds coming directly from Russia, but rough cut and polished in places such as India or Belgium technically remains legal.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak further announced that the nation would ban all Russian diamonds, as well as imports of copper, aluminum and nickel. The UK had previously instituted sanctions against Russia, including doing business with Alrosa, the country’s largest diamond miner, and increased import duties by 35 percentage points on a range of precious and semiprecious stones and metals.
“As today’s sanctions announcements demonstrate, the G7 remains unified in the face of the threat from Russia,” Sunak noted. “The UK has already taken a lead on action on Russian diamonds…. Today’s announcement goes further…. Sanctions imposed on Russia by the UK and our G7 partners are having a clear and progressive impact in degrading [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war effort.”
Meanwhile, the EU, which has yet to impose a ban on the import of Russian diamonds, may be headed for that in the next few days, according to a CNN report.
Russian diamond exports totaled $4 billion in 2021, the UK government said.
Image: Diamond sorting. (Alrosa)