New York—Alrosa is pulling back from two major industry organizations as the Russian assault on Ukraine continues, severely limiting its ability to market and sell diamonds worldwide.
The Responsible Jewellery Council announced via its website Friday that Alrosa has voluntarily stepped down as vice chair of RJC, temporarily leaving the board of directors.
“Like so many, we are deeply saddened by the geopolitical situation in connection with the Ukraine crisis,” RJC Chair David Bouffard said.
“The RJC team will support our 1,500 international members with guidance to comply to all applicable sanctions, together with the RJC code of practices requirements on due diligence within their supply chains. The RJC will continue to closely monitor the situation in accordance with international regulations and update its members with guidance as it evolves.”
Alrosa, which has said little publicly since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine about two weeks ago, communicated its resignation to the board during a meeting on March 3.
RJC declined to comment beyond what was provided in its online statement
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Also on Friday, Alrosa and the Natural Diamond Council issued separate statements announcing the diamond miner is suspending its NDC membership and halting all financial contributions to the organization.
The NDC (originally known as the Diamond Producers Association) launched in 2015 to promote natural diamonds worldwide, with an initial minimum annual budget of $6 million.
Initially, the world’s seven largest diamond producers funded DPA, with the three largest producers—Alrosa, De Beers Group and Rio Tinto—contributing more than the four smaller producers, Lucara Diamond Corp., Petra Diamonds, Gem Diamonds and Dominion Diamond Corp.
NDC’s annual allowance more than quadrupled in its first two years, rising to $57 million
in 2017, then increasing to $70 million by 2018, according to Rapaport
NDC declined to comment on the organization’s current annual budget and the impact Alrosa’s withdrawal will have.
Alrosa’s statement on stepping down from the NDC included a quote from NDC CEO David Kellie.
Kellie said, “We understand and respect Alrosa’s decision given the current geopolitical situation. We are confident Alrosa will continue to follow its outlined commitments to being a socially responsible business conducted according to the industry’s best practices and high standards.
“For dozens of years Alrosa has been investing billions of dollars into building and supporting communities around its operations. We wish the company the quickest resolution of all the difficulties encountered.”