The European Commission is considering extending sanctions on Russia to include diamonds, responding to the country's invasion of Ukraine.
Russia, a major global diamond supplier, contributes one-third to the market.
Despite previous sanctions on various Russian commodities, diamonds have been exempt, partly due to Belgium's desire to protect its diamond industry centered in Antwerp.
The proposed ban raises concerns for Antwerp's diamond dealers, anticipating increased costs and disruptions. Critics argue that importing Russian diamonds supports the Kremlin financially. The lack of transparency in the diamond trade poses challenges in enforcing a ban, reported the BBC, with a major loophole involving diamonds shipped to India for cutting and polishing.
Despite uncertainties, the EU's sanctions on Russian diamonds aim to address ethical concerns associated with financing the war in Ukraine. The effectiveness will depend on international collaboration within the diamond industry.