It would seem that everything that could be prohibited from being imported or exported from Russia was included in the eleven previous European packages of anti-Russian sanctions. But the EU has once again pulled out all the stops and is preparing to introduce the 12th one. It will be discussed at the highest level this week.
In particular, Brussels intends to limit the export to Russia of machine tools and equipment that can be used in the production of weapons. The ban also includes supplies of chemicals, lithium batteries and engines for drones. Measures are also being envisaged to strengthen price restrictions on oil from the Russian Federation.
As for the import of goods from our country, there was also room for a European embargo. The European Union wants to limit the supply of liquefied propane, cast iron, iron-manganese alloy, copper and aluminum wire, foil pipes and pipes. In general, there is almost no living space left in the arsenal of Russian products, which were previously supplied to all corners of the world.
A special place on the list is given to the ban on the import of Russian diamonds. This measure was hatched almost from the first package of sanctions, all subsequent ones were discussed, but were never introduced. It’s clear why: a ban on the supply of natural Russian stones could provoke an accelerated replacement of the mineral with synthetics, which carries certain man-made risks.
By the way, a week ago the G7 foreign ministers discussed this item, but could not agree on anything specific.
And then it happened.
The ban could come into effect as early as January 1, 2024. It also includes the gradual introduction of an indirect ban on the import of Russian diamonds processed in third countries.
On the other hand, the world is big, no one prohibits us from exporting natural resources to the countries of the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and Africa.
As you know, Russia ranks first in the world in diamond production – 33%. It is followed by Botswana and Canada – 17 and 14%, respectively.
Russian supplies account for 25-30% of the global market. Overall, we generated $4.64 billion from sales of this mineral in 2022. However, revenue from deliveries to the EU and G7 countries amounted to only about 40 million dollars, less than one percent.
Will we suffer “crushing” losses by losing this market? Probably, in Brussels they are sure that we will no longer see a sky filled with diamonds.
According to some experts, the fate of the 12th package will be as unenviable as its 11 predecessors. Vice-Rector of the Financial University Alexander Safonov believes that Europe has exhausted all possibilities and is now simply imitating vigorous activity, demonstrating unity and cohesion. “In fact, the key bans have long been adopted, but Russia lives in a normal rhythm and fulfills its social obligations to the population.”
“My general attitude towards anti-Russian sanctions is the following: after the third package, I lost all interest in them,” says financial analyst, candidate of economic sciences Mikhail Belyaev. – They don't work at all. We have a diversified economy, it is based not only on the extraction of raw materials.
Moreover, the West is no longer particularly interesting to us, Belyaev continues:
– He, of course, is a highly developed consumer, but he has come to such a level of saturation that he can no longer accept any more. Russia needs promising, rapidly developing markets: China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, the Philippines, even Africa. This is the EU's response to its bans and why sanctions on Moscow do not apply. It seems that economics and politics are divided there, the sanctions packages are being stamped by the political wing.
As for diamonds, in my opinion, the more valuable ones are not those used in jewelry (they were purchased by London and Amsterdam) , and technical – they are used for high-precision tools, without which modern innovative production, especially aerospace production, is impossible. By refusing Russian supplies, the West is depriving itself of an important resource in high-tech production and shooting itself in the foot, the expert concludes.