The European Union has set its sights on Russia’s diamond sector as part of their most recent sanctions against the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
On Monday, the European Union announced new sanctions against Russia for its involvement in the conflict with Ukraine. The sanctions specifically target the profitable diamond industry, over 140 individuals and groups, and aim to close any loopholes that Russia has previously used to avoid consequences.
This is the twelfth instance of sanctions and limitations imposed by the EU on Russia following President Vladimir Putin’s decision to send troops into Ukraine nearly two years ago. These actions have specifically focused on the energy industry, financial institutions, businesses, and markets. Additionally, they have resulted in over 1,000 Russian officials being subjected to restrictions on their assets and travel.
The latest actions announced by the EU headquarters are intended to hinder Putin’s ability to engage in war by focusing on important areas of the Russian economy and creating obstacles for bypassing EU sanctions.
As of January 1, the import, purchase, or transfer of nonindustrial natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond jewelry from Russia will be prohibited. This ban includes diamonds from Russia, as well as those exported or transited through the country. Additionally, Russian diamonds that have been processed elsewhere are also included in the ban.
The European Union approximates the value of Moscow’s diamond industry to be $4.5 billion annually.
The latest set of sanctions also requires businesses in the EU to include a clause in their contracts that forbids the export of specific products, preventing buyers from reselling them to Russia. This includes “sensitive goods and technology” that could potentially be utilized by the Russian military in Ukraine.
Certain items, including chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, specific electric motors commonly used in the production of drones, as well as various machine tools and components, have been added to the EU’s list of restricted goods prohibited for export to Russia.
Restrictions on imports into the EU have been tightened for certain goods that generate substantial revenue for Russia. These include copper and aluminum wire, foil, certain quantities of tubes and pipes, and limitations on liquefied propane.
The European Union has included 29 additional “entities” – typically groups, departments, businesses, or financial institutions – accused of aiding Russia’s military and industrial efforts in the conflict with Ukraine. The identities of these entities and individuals whose assets have been restricted have not yet been disclosed.
The EU’s official journal is expected to publish the sanctions soon, officially putting them into effect.
The European Union member countries are currently discussing the possibility of implementing penalties on individuals who profit from taking control of European assets or portions of Russian companies. Additionally, stricter measures will be put in place to ensure that member states are actively tracking the assets of those who are subject to sanctions.