De Beers and Russia Sign Deal

De Beers has inked a new deal with Russia that gives it half of that country's diamond production for the next five years. "It's good news for the market, especially in these uncertain times," says De Beers spokeswoman Kate Evan-Jones. "It brings a level of reassurance that the two largest diamond producers have signed an agreement and will work together for five years ahead." The deal, however, is dramatically different from the ones De Beers had with Russia until the mid-1990s, which gave it access to nearly all Russian diamonds. Under the new agreement, approximately half of the country's output will go to local diamond manufacturers, in an attempt to boost the country's cutting industry. The announcement of the deal also noted that it must be cleared with the European Commission—something De Beers' deals never had to do in the past. Evan-Jones says this is not because of De

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