Indian organisations face criticism over Russian diamond imports amid conflict
Indian diamond importers are managing to continue to import diamonds from Russia despite international sanctions but this has drawn criticism from organisations and countries including the UK.
After a slight delay and adapting of the payments system, the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council had announced that Indian businesses were able to continue to import rough diamonds from partially Russian state-run business Alrosa. Although the Indian industry breathed a sigh of relief as this will enable businesses to fulfil international orders and remain afloat, numerous international governments and authorities are now calling Russian diamonds ‘conflict diamonds’ as they are connected to the ongoing war in Ukraine through providing the invading Russian government with funds, Jeweller Magazine reported.
Due to the complexity of the situation, many in the jewellery industry have remained silent on the more ethics-based topics of the ongoing conflict. Indian businesses also cite their need to continue to do business to pay their own workers. However, some have spoken against India’s continued trading with Russia.
“These are objectively conflict diamonds, they’re funding an armed conflict against a peaceful neighbour, by a state actor,” Cristina Villegas told the Guardian about her organisation Mines to Market’s stance on the situation. “The situation with Russian diamonds is that they really became conflict diamonds overnight.”
The UK has also expressed its disappointment that India has not placed any of its own sanctions on Russia.
“We are very disappointed, but we continue to work with Indian partners and hope that their views will change,” said UK trade Minister, Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
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