Highlights

  • G-7 bans Russian diamond imports to curb Ukraine conflict funding.
  • Full traceability system implemented by September for transparency assurance.

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G-7 imposes ban on Russian diamond imports, implements traceability system

The recent announcement by the G-7 detailed a step-by-step ban. Starting January 1st, it will first stop direct imports of Russian rough diamonds. By March 1st, this ban will extend to cover Russian diamonds processed in third-party nations.

G-7 imposes ban on Russian diamond imports, implements traceability system

The Group of Seven (G-7) has unanimously decided to impose a ban on Russian diamond imports as a measure to curtail Russia's financial resources fueling the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. This embargo, slated to commence from the outset of the upcoming year, is intended to tighten the economic noose around Russia amid the ongoing conflict.

Efforts by the G-7 and its European counterparts have been relentless in seeking effective means to limit Russia's financial capabilities in sustaining its military endeavors in Ukraine.

Diamonds, however, posed a challenge in previous attempts to impose sanctions due to resistance from major importer nations such as Belgium. These nations argued that a straightforward ban could potentially redirect the highly profitable gem trade elsewhere.

The G-7's recent announcement outlined a phased approach to the ban. It will initially halt all direct imports of rough diamonds from Russia starting January 1st. The prohibition will extend to encompass Russian diamonds processed in third-party countries from March 1st. Additionally, a comprehensive traceability system is set to be fully implemented by the commencement of September.

In the background, the diamond industry has actively engaged in lobbying G-7 decision-makers, advocating for specific methods to trace diamonds. Belgium proposed a system requiring all diamonds to pass through Antwerp, historically a dominant global trading hub, for registration on a digital ledger before distribution to other major trade centers.

This proposal faced significant opposition from diamond-producing nations and industry leaders, who deemed it impractical and potentially harmful to the trade. They suggested enhancing existing models of origin certification instead.

Belgium's Prime Minister, Alexander De Crew, expressed support for the G-7's tracing system, hailing it as a crucial step in reducing financial flows from the diamond trade to Russia. The challenge in tracking a diamond's origin arises once it obtains certification under the Kimberley Process, designed to eliminate the sale of conflict diamonds. Subsequently, the tracing becomes convoluted, making the stones challenging to monitor through the supply chain.

Moving forward, the G-7 intends to collaborate with diamond-producing and manufacturing nations to devise and implement an effective tracing system that ensures transparency throughout the diamond trade.

Also Watch: India refuses to comply with Russia's pressure to buy oil in Chinese Yuan


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