US Sanctions AGD and Grib DiamondsSeptember 18, 23
(IDEX Online) - Russia's AGD Diamonds and its Belgian subsidiary Grib Diamonds have both been sanctioned by the US.
The Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has designated them in an attempt to limit Russia's revenue for its war effort from mining industries.
Almost 100 other sanctions were imposed at the same time on Russian elites and its industrial base, financial institutions, and technology suppliers.
OFAC describes AGD as "a Russia-based company involved in the prospecting, exploration, production, mining, and the processing of minerals".
AGD produces diamonds from the Grib diamond pipe - named after Russian geologist Vladimir Grib - which is 130km from Arkhangelsk, in north-west Russia.
Grib Diamonds is AGD's Belgium-based subsidiary, which has been marketing diamonds from the Grib pipe at spot market internet auctions since production began there in 2014.
Last January, just before Russia invaded Ukraine, Grib set a company record, selling $73m of rough at latest auction - 560,000 carats at an average price of nearly $130 per carat.
OFAC says AGD was designated for operating in, or having operated in, the metals and mining sector of the Russian Federation economy.
Grib Diamonds was designated for being owned or controlled by, or for having acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, AGD Diamonds.
Last September, Grib said it had been forced to postpone its rough auction in Dubai after a correspondent bank blocked payments from some buyers.
US Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen, announced the new sanctions last Thursday (14September), saying: "With today's sanctions, the United States is continuing our relentless work to target Russia's military supply chains and deprive Putin of the equipment, technology, and services he needs to wage his barbaric war on Ukraine."
Pic courtesy Grib Diamonds