As a major diamond producer, Russia earns billions of dollars that other nations say help finance war. The clash exposes the many loopholes in regulation of conflict diamonds.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to global soul-searching about overreliance on Russian oil and gas, but a new drama is unfolding over another of Russia’s major exports: diamonds.
Russia is the world’s largest supplier of small diamonds. For years, engagement rings, earrings and pendants for sale in the United States and beyond have included diamonds mined from deep in the permafrost in Russia’s northeast.
Now, the United States and other countries are taking action that could officially label Russian diamonds as “conflict diamonds,” claiming their sale helps pay for Russia’s deadly aggression in Ukraine.
“Proceeds from that production are benefiting the same state that is conducting a premeditated, unprovoked, and unjustified war,” said George Cajati, a U.S. State Department official, in a letter written in