Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly announced on Dec. 6 a ban on the direct import of Russian diamonds and related products in coordination with other Group of Seven (G7) countries.
The announcement comes amid media reports that the entire G7 agreed to ban Russian diamonds starting Jan. 1 in a bid to cut off this lucrative source of income during the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
"The implementation of this ban, in collaboration with our G7 partners, sends a clear message to Russia: We will not tolerate the use of Russia's diamond revenues to finance war," Joly said.
Ottawa's direct ban on Russian diamonds came into force on Dec. 5, Global Affairs Canada's spokesperson Jean-Pierre J. Godbout told the Kyiv Independent.
Russia is the world's largest diamond producer and its revenue from diamond sales last year exceeded $3.9 billion. The G7 countries represent around 70% of the world's diamond market.
"We call on President (Vladimir) Putin to immediately put an end to this unjustifiable war of aggression against Ukraine, and we will continue to stand by Ukrainians for as long as it takes," the Canadian foreign minister added.
The ban on Russian diamond sales is reportedly also meant to be included in the EU's upcoming 12th sanctions package.
This measure is meant to target the full spectrum of the Russian diamond trade. If approved, it will take effect on Jan. 1.