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US may accept `self-certification’ that diamonds imported into India have no Russian links

A meeting was held last week between a US government official and the country’s leading jewellers who import diamonds mined across the world and polished in India and other countries regarding deadline to weed out Russian diamonds .

“It was indicated at the meeting that America could accept `self-certification’ from its jewellers that the diamonds imported into the country have no Russian links.” said a senior industry person.

G7 leaders had committed in February, May and December 2023 to work together to reduce the revenue Russia uses from the diamond trade to finance what they described as its “illegal war”.

“A self-certification system would be different from, and therefore more acceptable than, what the European Union is insisting on,” said the person. The EU wants a central body in Belgium to have the sole authority to certify that a diamond, which may have been polished in Surat, was not mined in Russia.

The regulation has been questioned by African countries and India which feel that a system of first funneling stones into Belgium before moving them to final consumption centres would push up cost, delay deals and disrupt the age-old trade. India has recently expressed its views to G7 on the issue.

The virtual meeting on February 15 with the US official (who is a senior advisor in the office of the sanctions coordinator in the US department of state) assumes significance in the light of the reinforced sanctions which would come into effect from March 1, 2024.

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