Key supply of diamonds caught up in Russia sanctions – by Parija Kavilanz (CNN Business – March 14, 2022)

New York(CNNBusiness)Far-reaching global sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine are affecting the global supply of a precious commodity — the diamonds used in jewelry.

President Biden on Friday issued an executive order prohibiting imports of certain products originating in Russia. They include fish, seafood, luxury goods, alcoholic beverages and nonindustrial diamonds.

The ban directly targets Alrosa, which the US government identified as the world’s largest diamond mining company, responsible for 90 percent of Russia’s diamond mining capacity and accounting for 28%, or nearly a third, of global diamond output.

In 2021, Alrosa supplied 32.4 million carats of diamonds. Alrosa is partly owned by the Russian government and its shares trade on the Moscow Stock Exchange. “This is a very big deal and a once-in-a-lifetime situation for the diamond industry,” said Tiffany Stevens, CEO and general counsel of the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC), a 105-year-old non-profit that advocates for the US jewelry industry and provides legal education and compliance guidance to its 600 individual members.

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