Putin seeks to boost Russian diamond trade through India

Putin seeks to boost Russian diamond trade through India

Putin shakes hand with Modi at the 6th BRICS summit, July 2014.

Exports from Russian state diamond miner Alrosa are set to get a huge boost if President Vladimir Putin inks a long-sought deal with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the Asian country next week.

The potential long-term contract with Indian traders is seen as a way for Russia to bypass imposed sanctions over its actions in UkraineThe Economic Times reports. It would make of India a key hub for the trade of precious stones until now dominated by Belgium, Dubai, Israel, London, New York and Hong Kong.

Putin, who will meet Modi on Thursday, Dec. 11, is expected to co-sign eight to ten agreements during his visit. The most important of those deals would be a vision document that sets the roadmap for rebooting Indo-Russian bilateral relations over the next decade.

The Russian leader is also expected to address a joint session of parliament, an honour that is reserved for only a few foreign dignitaries. This, according to several media reports, may happen during or right after the 15th India-Russia Annual Summit, to be held next Thursday in New Delhi.

In April both countries signed a memorandum of understanding to share diamond trade data.

India, the world’s largest diamond processor, accounts for roughly 60% of global polished diamond output in value terms. Last year alone it imported $16.34 billion worth of rough diamonds and exported $20.23 billion in polished precious rocks.

Alrosa generates around 25% of the world’s rough diamonds. Last year it produced a total of 37 million carats, or about 97% of Russia’s total output.

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