The next package of European Union sanctions against Russia is set to include a long-awaited ban on Russian diamonds, Brussels-based media outlet EUobserver reported on Oct. 20, citing an unnamed European diplomat.
The EU is now awaiting a Group of 7 (G7) statement on the diamond ban before announcing its 12th round of sanctions against Russia.
The G7 countries of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.K., and U.S. "account for 70 percent of world diamond end-user demand," EUobserver reported.
The G7 announcement will be made "in the very coming days," according to the source, as a system that will ban the diamonds "has been ready for a few weeks."
The week before, Belgian Prime Minister Alexander de Croo said that western countries had developed a "full traceability system" that will "cut off Russian dominance completely from our retail markets."
The system will mean that "Russian blood diamonds will not be able to finance the war," de Croo said in Brussels on Oct. 11.
Diamond exports are worth 4 billion euros ($4.24 billion) a year to the Russian economy "and have symbolic value as a luxury icon," EUobserver noted.
According to de Croo, the goal for the start of the ban is Jan. 1, 2024.
The Belgian government has led much of the efforts to sanction Russian diamonds as its second-largest city, Antwerp, is one of the world's centers of diamond trade.