Antwerp Diamond fears sanctions against Russia: "Europe punishes Antwerp and not the Russians"
Sanctions against Russia could hit the Antwerp diamond sector hard, the sector itself warns. A quarter of all diamonds traded in Antwerp comes from Russia. "The Russians will sell their rough diamonds through another city. For example, Europe punishes Antwerp", Tom Neys of AWDC told Radio 2 Antwerp. The Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC) warns Europe that a possible ban on the diamond trade with Russia will have major consequences. "Few people know that Russia is one of the largest global players in the diamond market. A quarter of our trade is with Russia," said Tom Neys of AWDC on Radio 2 Antwerp.
"We trade the rough Russian stones in Antwerp. If Europe forbids that, it will affect our economy and not Russia. The Russians will find another diamond hub in the world, think of India, where they can sell their stones," says Neys.
The European Union has already announced a series of "painful" sanctions against Russia. In a tweet that has since been deleted, the chief of European diplomacy Josep Borrell explicitly hinted at the diamond trade. "We express our concern and hope that European politicians will judge to the best of their ability," concludes Neys.