An EU official said on Thursday that G7 leaders will debate sanctions against Russia’s $1 billion diamond industry in an effort to further deprive Moscow of resources for its conflict in Ukraine.
“We believe we need to limit exports from Russian trade in this sector,” the official said, adding that the G7 was unlikely to reach a final agreement on the economically sensitive topic in Japan.
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity, a trade data initiative affiliated with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Russia sold diamonds valued about $5 billion in 2021.
Among the leading importers were EU member Belgium, India, and the United Arab Emirates.
According to the EU official, Indian support would be essential for any sanctions system to have the most impact.
“We would like to engage in a dialogue with them, because the diamond industry is quite important in India, not necessarily in terms of numbers, but in terms of politics, symbolism,” the official said.
India has close military ties to Moscow and has never condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The G7 wealthy democracies seek to influence Russia and China through the Hiroshima summit, therefore they have invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as the heads of other significant developing economies.
Over the past year, the G7 nations have sanctioned Russia in a way never before done, but they have treaded carefully in areas that could harm European economies still rebuilding from the Covid-19 outbreak.