Ministry of Mines urges G7 to reconsider proposed restrictions on Russian diamonds

WINDHOEK: The Ministry of Mines and Energy has expressed concerns about the G7’s proposed restrictions on imports of Russian diamonds and has called for direct and meaningful engagement with all diamond-producing countries on the matter.

The intergovernmental political and economic forum consists of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, plus the European Union (EU) as a ‘non-enumerated member.’

The ministry in a statement on Wednesday said in May this year, the G7 announced that they were considering measures to restrict the sale of Russian diamonds; and that they would engage key partners to ensure effective implementation of the restrictive measures. ‘On 06 December, the G7 issued their third statement on the proposed restrictive measures. Part of the statement reads ‘We will introduce import restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia, by 01 January 2024, followed by further phased restrictions on the import of Rus
sian diamonds processed in third countries targeting 01 March 2024′,’ the statement said.

The ministry said it understands that the verification of all diamonds (rough, cut, and polished) entering the G7 and EU will take place through a ‘single node’ in Antwerp, which has raised concerns.

‘As a key diamond producing country, we are concerned about the implications of these restrictive measures. It is our considered view that the G7 proposal of a single node will have negative socio-economic impacts on African diamond producing countries, including Namibia,’ it stated.

It further noted that the proposal will add an additional regulatory layer, thereby creating blockages and delays that will lead to additional costs.

Additionally, the proposal will undermine the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, rendering it irrelevant.

‘The certification that will be issued in Antwerp will, de facto, render our rights to authenticate our diamonds as non-Russian peripheral. This will undermine our sovereign right to m
anage the trade of our diamonds and in the best interest of our people,’ it said.

The ministry called on the G7 to directly and meaningfully engage with all diamond producing countries to discuss the details of the proposed measures and their implications on the involved economies and people’s livelihoods.
Source: The Namibia Press Agency