Belgium plays a major role in the diamond industry
Therefore, Belgium – the country where the European Union is headquartered – plays a major role in the diamond industry and has lobbied in sanctions negotiations to keep Russian stones out of the proceedings. From an economic point of view, the dean of the Faculty of Economics at the University of Antwerp says that Europe will hurt itself with sanctions, Quinn FandenPet. By halting imports of Russian rough diamonds, the industry would be lost and relocated to Dubai or Mumbai — places that place less emphasis on transparency or sustainability than Antwerp, says Vandenpette.
Since many countries such as India, Israel or the United Arab Emirates have not joined the boycott, Russian stones are finally finding their way to the global market, explains Joachim Dunkelmann of German Federal Association for Jewelers, Jewelers and Watches (BJV). Tightening regulations or laws against Russia will have no effect on this matter.”
The Russian diamond giant is in a frenzy for diamonds
However, the Kremlin is likely to benefit from the diamond craze. One of the largest producers is Russian diamond giant Alrosa, which it claims is “partly” owned by the state. Experts estimate the state’s share at about 33 percent. Alrosa accounts for 95 percent of Russia’s diamond production – about 27 percent worldwide. This means that at least every fourth stone on the markets around the world comes from Russia. The giant operates several mines in the Sakha region in northeastern Russia and in Arkhangelsk in the northwest, and it also has interests in mines abroad, such as in Angola.