UpFront

RUSSIANS ASSERT INDEPENDENCE AT SUMMIT Delegates from around the world came to a diamond summit in Russia in June expecting the announcement of a breakthrough agreement between Russia and De Beers. What they heard instead was a Russian declaration of independence. Russian diamond officials said they want - and need - the right to polish and sell more diamonds on the outside market and are expanding their marketing plans to do just that. For U.S. retailers, this could mean more Russian polished goods on the market. It also could mean continued uncertainty in the diamond market and lower prices if the Russians fail to synchronize their supplies with world demand. The summit, called to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Russian diamond production, brought key diamond dealers, producers, bankers, mining engineers and diplomats together with top De Beers executives and all of Russia's
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