As the G7 summit in Japan unfolds public discourse surrounding a potential prohibition of Russian diamonds has once again ramped up.
It’s been more than one year since Russia invaded Ukraine and due to the prominence of Alrosa, the international diamond trade has remained in the spotlight ever since.
“The European Union has so far stopped short of sanctioning diamonds from Russia, which is playing a part in financing Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine, amid concerns that an embargo would hit the Belgian city of Antwerp, a major international diamond trading hub,” writes Barbara Moens of Politico.
“Instead, G7 governments are preparing an international ban on selling the products. One of the main goals of this coordinated G7 push is to stop sanctions being circumvented, for example by importing Russian diamonds which have first been processed and relabelled elsewhere in the world.”
Of particular interest is Swiss company Spacecode, which recently claimed to have a solution to the problem – emerging technology that can reportedly identify the region of origin for individual diamonds.
Tom Neys, a spokesperson for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, said that the industry would not accept an easy fix.
“If you want a real working solution to keep Russian diamonds off the market you need a watertight and verifiable solution that can determine the origin of a stone. We go for nothing less,” he said.
Senior figures in the Russian government recently dismissed suggestions of further sanctions, while the CEO of the largest diamond jewellery retailer in the world said that long-term it would be a rewarding move.
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