The Kremlin, facing the prospect of a European Union ban on imports of Russian diamonds, said on Monday that EU sanctions tended to have a “boomerang effect” on those who applied them.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was commenting on a proposed EU ban on diamond imports from Russia as part of a new sanctions package against Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.
Russia is the world’s biggest producer of rough diamonds by volume. Peskov told reporters such a move had been anticipated for a long time, but was likely to backfire.
“As a rule, it turns out that a boomerang effect is partially triggered: the interests of the Europeans themselves suffer. So far, we have been able to find ways to minimize the negative consequences of sanctions,” he said.
EU diplomatic sources said last week the proposal under discussion was to ban direct diamond imports from Russia from Jan. 1, and from March to implement a traceability mechanism that would prevent imports of Russian gems processed in third countries.
(By Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Gareth Jones)