An ominous wave of Russian sanctions threatens to engulf India’s diamond hub.

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The G7 countries are considering imposing sanctions on Russia’s diamond trade, which would have a negative impact on the diamond hub of Surat in India. This is because 90% of the world’s diamonds are cut and polished in Surat, with around a million people involved in the industry in Gujarat, India’s western-most state. Russian mining giants like Alrosa traditionally accounted for over a third of India’s rough diamonds, but supplies have shrunk since Western sanctions cut Russia off from the SWIFT international payments network in March last year over its invasion of Ukraine. Leaders of the G7 countries meeting in Japan on Friday pledged to restrict trade in Russian diamonds, worth $4-5 billion a year, including using high-tech methods of tracing. Britain intends to introduce an outright ban on Russian diamonds. Rameshbhai Zilriya, president of the Diamond Workers Union Gujarat, said that fresh sanctions would spell doom for the industry.

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