That diamond ring? It may have helped pay for Russia’s war – by Daniil Ukhorskiy (Kyiv Independent – October 12, 2023)

Editor’s note: This story uses sources who are speaking on condition of anonymity since revealing their identities would heavily damage their careers and expose them to legal and personal risks in the diamond industry. Their identities are known to the Kyiv Independent.

Soon after Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine, luxury brands like Tiffany and Cartier announced they had stopped buying Russian diamonds. An investigation by the Kyiv Independent has found evidence to the contrary. A year and a half into the all-out war, export data shows Russia keeps selling its diamonds to the West. Now, through intermediaries, primarily Dubai.

Thanks to weak American sanctions and the absence of any in the European Union, Alrosa, the leading Russian diamond producer partly owned by the state, keeps profiting from diamond sales. The company may be using some of its profit to fund the Russian military directly. Alrosa has not responded to a request for comment.

Clients of jewelry brands like Tiffany and Cartier have no idea the money they spend on diamonds may contribute to Russia’s war. Tiffany denied the allegations, while Cartier has not answered the Kyiv Independent’s information request.

Meanwhile, Group of Seven’s (G7) latest efforts to finally restrict Russian diamond sales have come up against an intense lobbying campaign orchestrated by the biggest diamond companies in the world since summer 2022.

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