EU Countries to Debate: Exploring the Contours of Critical Discussions

Next week, member states of the EU will discuss the 12th round of sanctions against Russia.

Talks over imposing a 12th round of Russia sanctions are scheduled to start next week among EU members. According to EU Countries to Debate officials and diplomats who spoke with Reuters, the main focus of these penalties will be banning the import of Russian diamonds.

Since the Russian incursion into Ukraine in February 2022, EU member states have imposed eleven sets of Russia sanctions on Moscow to reduce the Kremlin’s ability to finance the conflict. Approximately 1,800 people and organizations are involved in these efforts, which span several industries.

12th Package of Russia Sanctions Next Week
12th Package of Russia Sanctions Next Week

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Significant Western jewelry companies have already stopped utilizing diamonds produced in Russia; nevertheless, the European Union has not yet put penalties on Alrosa, the government-owned diamond mining company in Russia.

Josep Borrell, the senior diplomat for the European Union, told the Financial Times on Wednesday that the G7 EU countries to debate—Japan, the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—approved the trading of diamonds at a conference of their foreign ministers held in Japan.

An employee sorts rough diamonds at a sorting centre in Moscow, Russia.

EU sources said that the G7’s consent was a must for the 27-member European Union to start enforcing a diamond embargo. Following the release of the European Commission’s proposal, all 27 EU member governments will discuss the package, an EU representative stated “early next week.”

“The plan is that the Commission adopts the package in the coming days. Then it’ll be for the Council to adopt,” one EU official told Reuters, adding the discussions among governments would start next week.

The G7 has been debating various approaches to efficiently track Russian gem shipments to stop imports since September. A dispute over whether to issue a political statement before settling on all the technical details has caused the G7’s expected formal statement, which has been expected since last month, to be postponed.

Josep Borrell, the senior diplomat for the European Union
Josep Borrell, the senior diplomat for the European Union

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According to one of the diplomats, the plan, which Belgium drew up at the EU’s request, is anticipated to be substantially replicated in the Commission’s draft proposal on Russia sanctions.

Poland argued in favor of diamond and liquefied petroleum gas limits in September, and Estonia suggested including liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the restrictions as well. Nonetheless, the EU is not particularly eager to implement additional modifications to the unstable gas market.

Ursula von der Leyen, president of the Commission, announced that the bloc planned to think about outlawing the sale of Russian diamonds, taking possession of the property, and limiting travel for an extra hundred people. Additionally, they want to strengthen the G7’s $60 per barrel price cap on Russian oil.

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