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Two Years into the War: G7 Nations Declare Sanctions on Russian Diamonds

The G7 nations officially declared sanctions on Russian diamonds on December 6th, according to IDEX Online.


G7 leaders said in a statement issued by the White House: “We will introduce import restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia, by January 1, 2024, followed by further phased restrictions on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries targeting March 1, 2024.” This decision followed a virtual meeting attended by Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 


The leaders have outlined the establishment of a “robust traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds” by September 1, 2024, though specific details were not provided.


The leaders also said in their statement: “We will continue consultations among G7 members and with other partners including producing countries as well as manufacturing countries for comprehensive controls for diamonds produced and processed in third countries on measures for traceability.”


The challenge now lies in enforcing the ban. Among the proposed traceability solutions supporting the G7 sanctions, frontrunners include the World Diamond Council’s G7 Diamond Protocol—a largely self-regulated ban—and a blockchain-backed system advocated by Belgium.


“For 650 days, the Ukrainian people have valiantly resisted Russia’s illegal aggression. We commend their courage and resilience, extending our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to those who are suffering,” affirmed the leaders in their statement.


Comprising the US, UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, and Japan, along with the 27 EU nations, the G7 collectively represents 70% of global diamond sales.


A statement by the Chairman of the Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC),  Vipul Shah, and quoted by Rough & Polished, raised concerns about the impact of the upcoming sanctions on India’s diamond and jewelry trade.


“We had engaged with the G7 to discuss such sanctions and their implementation. We have reservations on the timelines announced for the implementation of restrictions,” the statement reads. “Recognizing the diversity of our industry, we believe there should be more flexibility in these timelines.”


GJEPC added that it has “questions about what is meant by a major rough diamond importer in the G7 and the powers it will have in determining the compliance of Indian diamond exports to the G7.”


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