Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Group of Seven nations have agreed to ban Russian diamond imports from the beginning of subsequent 12 months within the newest transfer to curb Russia’s means to fund its invasion of Ukraine.

Whereas the G7 and its European allies have been looking for further methods to squeeze Russia’s economic system to constrain its means to fund its struggle in Ukraine, diamonds have remained a stumbling block.

Earlier makes an attempt to sanction Russian gems in Europe had met resistance from main importer nations like Belgium, which had argued {that a} easy ban would simply shift the profitable gem commerce elsewhere.

Learn Extra: Why Sanctions on Russia Gained’t Work

The G7 mentioned Wednesday that it’ll ban all imports of tough diamonds immediately from Russia from Jan. 1. That may develop to incorporate Russian diamonds which were processed in third nations from Mar. 1, with a full traceability system applied by the beginning of September.

The diamond business has spent a lot of the previous three months aggressively lobbying G7 determination makers behind the scenes about how the ban needs to be applied, specializing in the strategy used to hint diamonds.

Belgium has proposed that each one diamonds are processed although the port metropolis of Antwerp, the once-dominant world buying and selling hub that has been steadily shedding affect to rival hubs in India and Dubai. Underneath that scheme, all tough diamonds must registered onto a digital ledger within the metropolis earlier than being flown again to main buying and selling and manufacturing facilities elsewhere.

A jewellery store window show in Belgium’s Diamond Quarter in Antwerp.Jonathan Raa—NurPhoto/Getty Photographs

The proposal sparked sturdy opposition from many diamond-producing nations and a few of the business’s dominant gamers, who mentioned it was unworkable and would injury the diamond commerce. They proposed one other system the place the business would improve and develop present fashions of origin certification.

Learn Extra: Russia Produces a Third of the World’s Diamonds. Now They’re Coming Underneath Scrutiny

The G7 mentioned it would proceed to seek the advice of with diamond-producing and manufacturing nations on easy methods to design and implement the tracing system. It additionally vowed to step up efforts towards evasion and circumvention of all of the sanctions it’s imposed on Russia.

“Belgium welcomes the tracing system introduced by the G7 as we speak,” Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo mentioned. “It’s a vital step to vastly cut back the circulation of cash from the diamond commerce in direction of Russia.”

A diamond’s origin is obvious at first of the availability chain when it’s issued a certificates beneath the Kimberley Course of, which was designed to finish the sale of so-called blood diamonds that financed wars. However after that, the stones can grow to be troublesome to trace.

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