EU sanctions Russian diamond giant Alrosa

The largest, 236-carat colored diamond dug up by Alrosa.
By Dénes Albert
3 Min Read

The European Union has introduced sanctions against the world’s largest diamond mining company, Russia’s Alrosa, and its CEO Pavel Marinychev, the Council of the European Union announced on Wednesday.

“In line with the diamond ban we introduced with the 12th package of sanctions, the EU today lists Alrosa, the largest diamond-mining company in the world, and its CEO,” EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell wrote on social media platform X.

According to the decision, Alrosa’s assets located in the territory of the EU are frozen, and citizens of EU member states and companies operating there are prohibited from conducting commercial activities with the Russian company. In addition, Marinychev, who was appointed CEO of Alrosa in May of last year, was placed under a EU travel ban and his assets there were also frozen.

Alrosa, which is the world’s largest diamond producer and accounts for about 90 percent of Russia’s production, is “an important player in an economic sector that provides Moscow with significant income,” according to the EU. In 2022, Russia mined 41.92 million carats of diamonds, followed by Botswana with 24.51 million and Canada with 16.25 million carats.

In December, the EU Council announced that it had adopted its 12th package of sanctions, including economic and specific restrictive measures — such as import and export bans — in view of the ongoing Russian war against Ukraine. The EU banned the import, purchase and sale of non-industrial natural and synthetic diamonds or diamond jewelry mined, processed or produced in Russia with effect from Jan. 1.

The sanctions measures “deal a further blow” to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war-fighting capabilities by targeting key sectors of the Russian economy and making it harder to circumvent EU sanctions, the council said in an earlier statement.

“The European Council confirmed that the EU is unwaveringly committed to continuing to support Ukraine and its people for as long as necessary,” the council announced in a statement.

The EU has now imposed sanctions on almost 1,950 individuals and organizations, including companies, banks or government agencies, for threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. However, thus far, the Russian economy has managed to adapt to the punitive measures.

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