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US announces ban on import of Russian diamonds

by Dmytro Basmat February 9, 2024 12:44 AM 2 min read
A diamond is held up for examination at a store run by Brilliant Earth, which uses conflict-free diamonds from Canadian mines, in San Francisco, California on June 5, 2009. (Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) on Feb. 8 imposed a ban on non-industrial diamonds mined in Russia, prohibiting their export regardless of whether they were processed in Russia or substantially transformed in a third country.

The new sanctions bring the U.S. in line with a commitment made by Group of Seven (G7) nations to impose phased restrictions on the import of diamonds mined or extracted in Russia. Included in the ban are the import of diamond jewelry and unsorted diamonds exported from Russia.

The new sanctions will come into effect on March 1 for certain categories of diamonds, and the U.S. will further expand its list to include additional categories of diamonds on Sep. 1, 2024, the OFAC noted.

The United States is the final G7 country to announce their adaption of the international commitment.

The G7 countries, including Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the U.S., and the U.K., represent 70% of the world's diamond market.

In alignment with the G7, European Union countries also agreed to ban the import of Russian diamonds with the EU's 12 sanction package against Russia in December 2023. The measures took effect on Jan. 1.

Russia is the world's largest diamond producer and earned around $4 billion from the diamond trade last year, helping the country fuel its war against Kyiv.

G7 to ban direct import of Russian diamonds from January
Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries agreed on Dec. 6 to impose a direct import ban on Russian diamonds starting January in a bid to stifle Moscow’s revenue amid its invasion of Ukraine.
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