Indo-Russian Relations
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G7 Divided on Russian Diamond Ban Implementation Amid Protests by India

© SputnikStones mined from the Siberian permafrost in the Russian Arctic mining town of Mirny
Stones mined from the Siberian permafrost in the Russian Arctic mining town of Mirny - Sputnik India, 1920, 22.05.2024
A diamond industry insider has told Sputnik India that the US wasn't on the same page with its other G7 partners as far as technicalities of implementing the G7 Diamond Ban are concerned.
The US has practically broken ranks with its European allies over the "traceability" mechanism in the G7 ban on Russian diamonds, amid widespread concerns in India and African states.
The G7 ban on Russian diamonds kicked in January this year, expanding to cover banning imports of Russia-origin diamonds processed in third countries March onwards.
Under the G7 plan, global diamond supplies above 0.5 carat would have to be routed through Antwerp starting September in order to certify the origin of roughs.
The G7-backed "traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds” has triggered widespread concerns in India, the biggest importer of Russian roughs and the largest global exporter of polished diamonds.
The US has traditionally been the biggest market for Indian cut and polished diamond exports, with Belgium also ranking among top three in terms of exports.
This month, Indian Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal warned that New Delhi "reserved the right" to impose retaliatory tariffs if the G7 went ahead with implementing its plan without factoring in Indian interests.
The traceability mechanism, if implemented, risk severely harming the diamond industry in Indian city of Surat, where roughly 90 percent of the global roughs are imported and polished, before being exported primarily to western markets.
The G7 plan to route diamond supplies through Belgium has also stoked concerns in major African producers such as Namibia and Botswana.
Nearly 60 percent of the roughs are mined in 19 African nations, which have formed the African Diamond Producers’ Association (ADPA).

'US Leaning Towards a Different Solution'

Edahn Golan, a leading diamond industry analyst, told Sputnik India that the US has been "leaning towards a different solution" amid protests by India and African countries.

Golan said that the US was in favour of "self-declaration and audits" rather than re-routing the entire supplies through Belgium.

"This seems to indicate that the US is taking into consideration these complaints," the diamond industry insider said.
Golan highlighted that Belgium was originally tasked by the G7 to device a mechanism for sanction implementation.

"However, each G7 country has the right to independently interpret how to do that," he said.

Further, Golan noted that Belgium was already testing a pilot version of the system which required routing of supplies through Antwerp.
The issue is expected to figure at the upcoming G7 Summit in Italy from 13-15 June, where India has been invited as a guest country.
diamond  - Sputnik India, 1920, 26.04.2024
Indo-Russian Relations
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