EU hits Russia’s diamond industry with new round of sanctions over Ukraine war

The EU headquarters said the latest measures would “deliver a further blow to Putin’s ability to wage war by targeting high-value sectors of the Russian economy

Diamonds in Antwerp
An employee looks at a rough diamond at Flanders Manufacturing, as the G7 weighs a ban on Russian diamond imports, Antwerp, Belgium, October 30, 2023.JOHANNA GERON (REUTERS)

The European Union said Monday that it has imposed fresh sanctions on Russia over its war against of Ukraine, targeting the lucrative diamonds industry, more than 140 officials and organizations, and closing loopholes that Moscow has used to bypass previous punitive measures.

It’s the 12th round of sanctions that the EU has slapped on Russia since President Vladimir Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine almost two years ago.

EU headquarters said the latest measures would “deliver a further blow to Putin’s ability to wage war by targeting high-value sectors of the Russian economy and making it more difficult to circumvent EU sanctions.”

The import, purchase or transfer of Russian non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds and diamond jewelry will be banned starting Jan. 1. The ban applies to diamonds originating in Russia, exported from Russia and transiting through Russia, as well as Russian diamonds processed elsewhere.

The new round of sanctions also obliges EU companies to prohibit in their contracts the export of certain goods so buyers can’t sell them on to Russia, particularly “sensitive goods and technology” that could be used by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine.

Additional chemicals, lithium batteries, thermostats, certain electric motors that could be used in the manufacture of drones, and some machine tools and parts have been put on the EU’s list of restricted items banned for export to Russia.

The EU also added 29 more “entities” – often organizations, agencies, companies or banks – alleged to be supporting Russia’s military and industrial complex in the war against Ukraine. The entities, and more than 100 officials, whose assets have been frozen were not immediately named.

The sanctions were expected to be published in the EU’s official journal shortly, which allows for them to formally enter force.

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