< Back

G7 leaders to discuss diamond trade amid sanctions against Russia

May 18, 2023

Leaders of G7 countries will discuss at the summit in Japan how to monitor Russian diamond trade in order to impose restrictions at a later stage.

This was stated by a spokesman for the European Union at a briefing, Reuters reported.

"You can expect this to be mentioned in the G7 communique," he said.

The official said there will be no agreement at this stage, but he is confident that talks between leaders in Hiroshima, Japan, between May 19 and 21 will open the door to implementing the system before restrictions.

Poland in April submitted a proposal for a new set of sanctions against Russia for its war against Ukraine, including oil and diamond imports, but the debate over the gems in the European Union has been complicated.

While some nations called for sanctions, Belgium, home to the world's largest diamond trading center, rejected the restrictions. The Antwerp World Diamond Center said sanctions would take away about 30 percent of its business and benefit rival retailers, adding that customers should be able to decide for themselves whether they want Russian gems.

The EU representative said that given the size of the market, there would need to be more discussion with countries such as India, which is hosting this year's G20, that do not necessarily fully support Western sanctions on Russia. India's prime minister has been invited to the G7 summit.

"We have large supporters of Ukraine and then swing states which we need to be careful with. We would like to engage in a dialogue with them," the official said.

The official added that the priority for G7 leaders is to discuss how to avoid circumventing existing sanctions.

It should be noted that Belgium previously proposed to introduce a system that would allow tracing Russian diamonds and complicate the process of relabeling gemstones in third countries.

Author – Anastasiya Glotova, 18/05/2023

Recent news