EU to move ahead with Russian diamond ban next week – by Henry Foy (Financial Times – November 8, 2023)

Foreign policy chief says agreement at G7 level cleared hurdles set by Belgium and other countries

The EU is set to move ahead with a long-stalled ban on Russian diamonds next week after securing sufficient backing from the G7 group of developed nations, according to the bloc’s foreign policy chief.

Diamonds are one of the few major Russian exports still untouched by EU sanctions imposed in response to President Vladimir Putin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year, due to extensive wrangling over how any embargo would work effectively.

Josep Borrell, the EU’s chief diplomat, told the Financial Times that a two-day meeting of G7 foreign ministers in Japan that ended on Wednesday gave support to the move, clearing a critical hurdle that European countries including Belgium — one of the world’s largest diamond traders — had demanded.

“In order for [EU] member states to be unanimous for the ban on diamond trade, some were requesting that the G7 were giving, let’s say, political coverage,” said Borrell.

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