European Commission approves ban on trade in diamonds from Russia – AFP

The European Commission has approved a document banning trade in Russian diamonds, AFP reports. The ban applies to trade in cut and polished diamonds in third countries.

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The proposal will be sent to all EU member states in the near future.

If approved, the ban on imports of non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds, as well as diamond jewelry, will take effect on January 1, 2024.

Further restrictions will be introduced gradually. So, from March to September next year, a ban will be gradually introduced on the import of Russian diamonds cut and polished in third countries.

According to the agency, major traders and jewelry brands have already started using advanced technologies to track and verify the origin of diamonds.

The ban on the import of diamonds from Russia and the introduction of indirect restrictions was previously announced by the head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell. However, G7 leaders said they were unable to agree on sanctions on precious stones.

On November 17, the EU Observer, referring to the draft document, wrote that the ban on the import of Russian diamonds will affect jewelry. According to the publication, the EU intends to ban the import of Russian jewelry, products made of natural and cultured pearls, gold or silver products decorated with diamonds. The ban will also extend to wrist, pocket and other types of watches with diamonds.

In addition to the ban on the import of Russian diamonds, the EU proposes to introduce a ban on the export of certain types of machines and their parts to the Russian Federation within the framework of the 12th package of anti-Russian sanctions.

Also, according to Bloomberg, the European Union is considering restrictions on such products as lithium batteries, thermostats, some chemicals, and drone engines.

Imports of liquefied propane, copper and aluminum wire, foil and pipes may also be subject to restrictions. In total, the new restrictions will cause losses to Russian exports and imports of 5 billion euros.

In May 2023, G7 leaders agreed not to reduce sanctions pressure on Russia and introduce new restrictions. One of the main restrictions agreed upon by the leaders of the G7 concerned Russian diamonds.