Russian Diamond Sanctions Excluded

According to Politico, the European Union is proposing a new round of restrictions on Russian goods.  In the latest round of sanctions discussions by the European Union, colloquially known as the (EU), has decided to exclude diamonds in the last round of sanctions against Russia.  For example, the new package the EU released does in fact extend certain trade bans and well as imposing additional restrictions on other imports.  The statement they released, “elements used in the jewelry industry, such as stones and precious metals."

No Curb on Exports

With no mention of a curb on exports of Russian diamond goods, sources confirm the new list of sanctions makes no mention of diamonds specifically. The full list in the official EU journal does not even mention the category.  Furthermore, when questioned, an EU spokesperson would not comment on the discussions leading to the decision.  It is still unclear which types of stones and metals were covered by the updated ban.  The Head of media relations at the Antwerp Diamond Centre (AWDC) noted that "at the moment, diamonds are not included on the agenda for the next round of sanctions. "But things change quickly. [On] Friday they will finalize discussions and the EU will decide." Adding that “the fact that sanctions also create other ethical problems, and that these sanctions will have no effect in Russia, are probably important elements in these debates. Now is the time to focus on international solutions.”

Updated Trade Restrictions

The newest round of sanctions against Russia comes in the form of imports of semiconductors, steel, wood pulp, and paper, among a bevy of other products. The official reason given for the new round of EU restrictions comes in response to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s move to annex parts of Ukraine, hold a new election as well as mobilize troops. One Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy explains that “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.”

Antwerp Diamond Connection

In 2021, around 36% of revenue for Alrosa, the largest Russian miner, came from Belgium, according to the company’s most recent annual results.  With Antwerp's influence on the latest round of sanctions, they were quick to leave the diamond industry unincumbered. This news confirms what reports had been circulating, that officials were not planning to outlaw imports of Russian rough diamonds.  Antwerp is one of the most important markets for Russian rough diamonds and the local industry had argued that such a ban would be unproductive.  Contrary to that statement, the EU’s executive unit — wants to stop the import of “certain elements used in the jewelry industry, such as stones and precious metals.”


[caption id="attachment_3250" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Diamond Shapes  Russian Diamond Sanctions Loose Diamond Shapes[/caption]