Anyone walking around the area surrounding Antwerp’s Central Station can hardly ignore it. Antwerp is the diamond capital of the world. Thanks to its strategic location, the city has been inextricably linked to the trade and processing of the raw stones for centuries.
Around 85 percent of the world’s rough diamonds, half of polished diamonds and 40 percent of industrial diamonds pass through Antwerp. But today a dark shadow looms over the once magnificent diamond quarter. Almost a third of the diamonds for trade in Antwerp come from Russia.
Rough diamonds remain an important source of income for the Russian war apparatus. Every year Russia is raking in approximately $4bn [€3.7bn] in revenues through the export of rough diamonds.
Alrosa, which accounts for the majority of Russian diamond mining, has close ties to the Kremlin. Its CEO, Sergei Ivanov, is the son of one of Putin’s closest allies. The profits Alrosa makes finance the war against Ukraine. In addition, the company also has ties to the military industry and Rosatom.
For the rest of this column: https://euobserver.com/opinion/156606