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India's Diamond Merchants Show Unwavering Confidence in Supply Chain From Russia Despite Sanctions

© Sputnik / Aleksandr Utkin / Go to the mediabankExtracting diamond-bearing kimberlite ore at ALROSA's Internatsionalny diamond field in Mirny, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia)
Extracting diamond-bearing kimberlite ore at ALROSA's Internatsionalny diamond field in Mirny, Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) - Sputnik International, 1920, 10.03.2022
India's diamond industry, which employs more than a million people, imports raw materials from Russia. Alrosa, Russia's biggest diamond miner, supplies approximately 30% of the rough diamonds globally and is a critical source for India.
India's diamond merchants have rejected reports by Western financial institutions that suspect there are supply chain disruptions from Russia due to sanctions.
Sources of the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC)—a unit supported by India's Commerce and Industry Ministry, said that diverse routes and banking partners would not hamper business.

"Our raw materials arrive from Belgium and Dubai. If the Belgium route gets disrupted, we will still receive our components from Dubai", official sources told Sputnik.

The response comes against the backdrop of several reports claiming Western sanctions will have a bearing on the growth of India's diamond polishing industry.
Earlier, Crisil, an Indian unit of S&P Global, said that while Western sanctions on Russia's Central Bank and two major banks "do not prohibit business with Alrosa, trade settlement has become difficult, which could lead to supply disruptions".
"The government has assured us to facilitate payment in national currencies [rupee-ruble]. Also, Russian firm Alrosa has sent us a letter ensuring the uninterrupted supply of materials", the sources added.
Alrosa wrote a letter to Indian buyers on Monday, saying the firm is "running its business as usual" and it has all the necessary resources to ensure regular operation in the current circumstances.
Indian diamond traders are immune to the ongoing issue of logistics that erupted over the temporary suspension of container shipping to and from Russia as, the GJEPC official said, their "materials come from air routes".
India imports, cuts, and polishes 80-90% of the world's rough diamonds. The Indian diamond industry is expected to hit $24 billion in revenue this fiscal year, bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels.
The US and its allies have embarked on an "economic war" in response to Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, launched at the request of the Donbass republics last month.
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