EU adds Russia's biggest diamond producer Alrosa to sanctions list
The European Union has added Russia's Alrosa, the world's largest diamond mining company, to its sanctions list. The company's CEO, Pavel Alekseevich Marinychev, has also been added to the list, European foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on X.
The move is in line with the EU's latest sanctions package, adopted in December, which includes a ban on imports of Russian diamonds. The ban had been in the works for months but was long stalled, partly due to opposition from Belgium.
Belgium is home to the world's largest diamond trading centre in Antwerp. A quarter of the diamonds sold in the district are of Russian origin. In 2022, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky appealed directly to Belgium, saying that "peace is worth much more than diamonds".
The EU ban follows a similar ban announced by the G7 countries in December. To monitor the import restrictions, the G7 also said a system to better track the origin of diamonds was needed. The new measures will be phased in over the course of 2024.
As with previous sanctions, the ultimate aim is to ensure that Russia has fewer resources to spend on the war in Ukraine. Alrosa has not yet responded to Borrell's announcement.
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