On March 6, the U.S. State Department and E.U. officials met with the heads of diamond retailers, manufacturers, laboratories, and trade associations in advance of the expected announcement of increased sanctions on Russian diamonds.
“Russia continues to earn billions of dollars from the diamond trade, and the discussion centered on the most effective and impactful ways to disrupt that revenue stream,” a State Department statement said. “The United States and European Union remain committed to imposing economic consequences on Russia for its unprovoked war in Ukraine.”
The meeting follows last week’s G7 (Group of Seven) leaders statement, which said “we will work collectively on further measures on Russian diamonds, including rough and polished ones, working closely to engage key partners.”
Holding the meeting so soon after the statement seems a sign that the parties involved are interested in moving forward quickly, said one participant.
The meeting was conducted by Ambassador James O’Brien, head of the U.S. Office of Sanctions Coordination, along with the European Union’s deputy director general and chief trade enforcement officer, Denis Redonnet.
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