G7 leaders agree to restrict imports of Russian diamonds: statement
"We will introduce restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia"
WASHINGTON (AFP) – G7 leaders agreed on Wednesday to restrict imports of Russian diamonds from next year in a tightening of sanctions over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, they said in a statement.
"We will introduce import restrictions on non-industrial diamonds, mined, processed, or produced in Russia, by January 1, 2024," the leaders said after a virtual summit with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
This will be "followed by further phased restrictions on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries targeting March 1, 2024," they said.
By the beginning of September, a "robust traceability-based verification and certification mechanism for rough diamonds within the G7" will be established, it added.
The new restrictions add to a raft of sanctions already imposed on Russia by the United States and other countries over its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, with previous targets including financial institutions, technology imports and energy exports.
In his remarks to G7 leaders on Wednesday, Zelensky warned against the collapse of Western unity, saying that Russia was counting on that happening next year.
The White House has warned that the United States would run out of money for more Ukraine aid by the end of the year if Congress does not approve fresh funds.
The G7 leaders addressed the issue of backing for Kyiv in their statement, pledging that it would continue.
"Our steadfast commitment to supporting Ukraine's fight for its independence, sovereignty, and territorial integrity will never waver," they said.