03 Dec 2022
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Sustainability of the International Diamond Trade
Journey from War & Sanctions to Lab Grown & KP
By: Diamond World News Service
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May 4 2022 5:03PM
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Reference: 26304  

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ANTON SILUANOV Finance Minister of Russia “We have part of our gold and foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese currency, in Yuan. And we see what pressure is being exerted by Western countries on China in order to limit mutual trade with China. Of course, there is pressure to limit access to those reserves, but I think that our partnership with China will still allow us to maintain the cooperation that we have achieved, and not only maintain, but also increase it in an environment where Western markets are closing. The sanctions have deprived Moscow of access to $300bn of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves and there is pressure on Beijing to shut off more.”Europe on the other hand has limited its sanctions to exports of diamonds, jewellery and luxury goods. The unprovoked war by Russia has pushed the European Union to prohibit the “sale, supply, transfer or export” of a range of goods to any individual in Russia or for use in Russia. This policy of prohibiting only exports and not imports has raised a few eyebrows as imports of Russian diamonds to the EU is of more consequence than exports. According to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, 25% of Antwerp’s rough diamonds are imported from Russia and were valued at EUR 1.8 billion last year. According to a report by IPIS, “Alrosa puts around one third of its production on the market through Antwerp, where it has an important sales office and where around 20 of Alrosa’s 58 long-term clients are based.” Most of these sanctions were executed March 15 onwards.

Asian Countries like China, India and UAE’s Responses to War
According to the Chinese Customs Agency, Russian exports to China were worth $79.3bn in 2021 where oil and gas accounted for 56% of that which makes China Russia’s top export market after the European Union, reported News Agencies. Though both China and Moscow deny it, but the latter had asked China for aid in its war against Ukraine, reports say. Anton Siluanov, the Finance Minister of Russia said “We have part of our gold and foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese currency, in Yuan. And we see what pressure is being exerted by Western countries on China in order to limit mutual trade with China. Of Russia launched an offensive on Ukraine on February 24, 2022. This battle has led to loss of civilian lives, infrastructure damage, loss of human lives, cause of human suffering, razing of important structures like schools, hospitals, homes for old and many governmental and charitable organizations. One hundred and forty one member states of the United Nations condemned these atrocious actions in a General Assembly Resolution early this March. Due to this war, the world is going through economic and financial upheavals due to the imposing of sanctions designed to curb Russia’s economy and drain th e resources of the Russian regime.

course, there is pressure to limit access to those reserves, but I think that our partnership with China will still allow us to maintain the cooperation that we have achieved, and not only maintain, but also increase it in an environment where Western markets are closing.” He further said the sanctions had “deprived Moscow of access to $300bn of its $640bn in gold and foreign exchange reserves” adding that there was pressure on Beijing to shut off more. Jake Sullivan, National Security Adviser to the President of the United States was quick to alert Beijing of the "consequences" if the People’s Republic of China would try to aid Russia compensating for their losses from the imposed sanctions. China reportedly would not involve in a financial conflict between Russia and the entire world. Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi was explicit when he stated that China wanted to avoid bearing repercussions by U.S. sanctions over Russia’s war. Beijing retorted and called this and effort by the US to spread misinformation and “distort and smear”China’s stand on the Russia-Ukraine issue. Jens Stoltenberg, Secretary General of the NATO called upon China to “clearly condemn” Russia for its unwarranted attacks on Ukraine while denying any assistance to them. He said, “China should join the rest of the world in condemning, strongly, the brutal invasion of Ukraine by Russia. China has an obligation as a member of the UN Security Council to actually support and uphold international law, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a blatant violation of international law.” Currently, the US has asked for support from G7 to ensure that Russia does not evade sanctions through China or any other country for their unprovoked war crimes. The Moscow times dated April 13, 2022 has reported that trade between Russia and China has increased by 28% in the time spanning January - March this year as compared to last year cited by state-run news agency RIA Novosti as reported by the Chinese customs.

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