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Armenia Hopes to Become Glittering Gateway for Russian Diamonds

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Pragnesh Shah examines a stone in the 'rough department' at Dimotech, Armenia’s second largest diamond-refining factory.

A diamond deal that gives Armenia duty-free access to rough diamonds from Russia could offer Alrosa, the semi-government-owned Russian diamond company that provides roughly 27 percent of the world’s rough-diamond supplies, a dodge from potential European-Union sanctions, Armenian diamond-industry professionals believe.

About half of Alrosa’s yearly sales occur through the international diamond market in Antwerp, Belgium, a member of the EU. Although the company, which accounts for the bulk of Russia’s diamond mining, does not yet feature on a sanctions list for Russian actions in Ukraine, it has stated that it has begun to work “out some options for reducing this risk;” namely, by increasing sales to clients “in other jurisdictions.”

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Gayane Abrahamyan is a freelance reporter and editor in Yerevan. Nazik Armanakyan is a photojournalist working for Armenianow.com.

Armenia Hopes to Become Glittering Gateway for Russian Diamonds

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