The European Union (EU) has excluded diamonds in its latest round of sanctions against Russia.
The new package, which the Council of the EU released last Thursday, extends certain trade bans and imposes restrictions on imports of “elements used in the jewelry industry, such as stones and precious metals,” the bloc said in a statement.
However, it does not curb imports of diamonds, sources close to the matter confirmed to Rapaport News. The full list in the official EU journal does not mention the category.
An EU spokesperson declined to comment on the discussions leading to the decision. It was unclear which types of stones and metals were covered by the updated ban.
The latest restrictions target imports of Russian steel, wood pulp and paper, among other products. The EU introduced them in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to annex parts of Ukraine and mobilize troops.
“We are further hitting Russia’s war economy, limiting Russia’s import-export capacities and are on the fast track to liberate ourselves from Russian energy dependence,” said Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.
The news backs up reports that officials were not planning to outlaw imports of Russian rough, for which Antwerp is one of the most important markets. The local industry has argued that such a ban would be counterproductive.
Image: Rough diamonds. (Alrosa)