Russian diamonds in sight of G7, says EU official

HIROSHIMA, Japan (Reuters) – G7 leaders will discuss how they can address the Russian diamond trade, which could be a first step toward imposing sanctions, a G7 official told Reuters on Thursday. told.

“You can expect it to be mentioned in the G7 communiqué,” he told reporters.

The question of Russian diamonds and the sanctions that could target them is not new and, as is often the case, has sparked differences within the European Union. Belgium, which has the world’s leading diamond trading center in Antwerp, has always opposed it.

That didn’t stop Poland from proposing a new round of sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine in April, proposing tighter sanctions on Russian oil and setting up a mechanism for diamond imports.

The European official warned that no agreement would be reached at this stage within the Community bloc, while remaining optimistic about the prospects for progress during a summit that brings together G7 leaders in Hiroshima from Friday to Sunday.

According to the World Diamond Center in Antwerp, the city will lose about 30% of its diamond business due to the sanctions, and most competing trading centers will benefit. He says he believes the decision of whether or not to buy a Russian gemstone should first and foremost rest with the customer.

(Reporting by John Irish; French edition edited by Nicolas Delem, Blandine Heinault)

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