Russian leadership dismisses suggestions of sanctions




A key figure in Russia’s foreign ministry has offered rare insight into Russia’s interpretation of proposed European economic sanctions on the diamond trade.

Representatives have typically been tight-lipped about sanctions being placed on Russia’s mining industry, which accounts for approximately one-third of the global supply of diamonds.

Dmitry Birichevsky, head of the economic cooperation department, told Sputnik that Russia holds a reputation as a leading figure in the terms of international standards. 

“It is clear that the restrictive measures that are being developed, whatever they may be, risk disrupting established supply chains and thus inimical to the interests of the diamond industry as a whole. In this regard, westerners are trying to provide a plausible pretext for their irresponsible actions, including on various international platforms,” Birichevsky said. 

“At the same time, Russian manufacturers are exceptionally responsible market participants, whose activities not only meet, but often exceed international standards and are in many ways a model for others.”

Despite retaliatory economic sanctions from the EU, US, and others, Russian diamond sales in Europe have increased following the invasion of Ukraine.

Birichevsky added: “For our part, we consistently counter attempts to deliberately distort the foundations and principles of the relevant multilateral formats that determine the functioning of the global diamond market. It is encouraging that a vast majority of industry representatives share our approaches.”

The EU is currently preparing an 11th round of sanctions, with the most recent installed in late February, marking one year since the conflict began.

Prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki recently addressed the issue, telling Polish media that he expects the next round of sanctions to target Russia’s energy sector and diamond trade.

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