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PM announces Russian diamonds ban as sanctions stepped up

Rishi Sunak, the British ambassador to Russia, will announce that Russian diamonds are no longer allowed in Britain. This comes as Prime Minister David Cameron and other G7 leaders intensify their sanctions against Vladimir Putin.

The diamond ban forms part of a larger package of sanctions, as the Prime Minister and his allies use the annual G7 Summit in Tokyo to redouble their support for Ukraine.

The sanctions will also include the importation of Russian-origin aluminium, copper and nickel as well as a freeze on the $4bn ($3.2bn) diamond market.

Image: Mr Sunak in Japan for G7

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The UK has also sanctioned 86 more individuals and companies in Vladimir Putin’s industrial complex. This includes a crackdown against companies involved in the theft and resale Ukrainian grain, as well as those who are involved with energy and shipping.

Sanctions have been imposed on companies connected with Rosatom, the state-owned Russian nuclear energy company.

The prime minister stated that “Sanctions on Russia imposed by the UK and G7 Partners are having a clearly and progressive impact on downgrading Putin’s war effort.”

“The G7 is united in its opposition to the Russian threat and in its support of Ukraine.”

The Prime Minister’s spokesperson said that the government expected all G7 members to announce sanctions this weekend as a show against Moscow.

While the G7 is in agreement on their approach to Ukraine the issue of dealing with an ever aggressive China, which along with Ukraine and the global economics is the third pillar of the summit has been more complex and contested for the G7.

Fumio Kishida, Japan’s prime minister, has warned repeatedly that “Ukraine could be Russia tomorrow”, as he seeks to rally allies in a united front against China and the threat of Beijing attempting to invade Taiwan.

US President Joe Biden has pledged to defend Taiwan. But this issue has divided the allies. French President Emmanuel Macron said on a recent trip to China, that Europe shouldn’t get “caught in crises that aren’t ours”.

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Image: Russian Metals will also be affected

In Hiroshima, it is expected that allies will agree on a language that bridges the divide.

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, will present a proposal that allies are expected to agree upon – that G7 will be focused on “derisking” instead of “decoupling”. In other words continue to engage with China on areas such as climate change and trade while pursuing policies designed to protect national security.

It is expected that the G7 summit will end with a united front against Russia and China.

The biggest unknown is whether the allies can sway some of the countries in the global south, such as Brazil and India, who were more aligned to Russia and China.

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Rishi Sunak’s G7 plan

Keep an eye out for any further comments about the longer-term guarantees of security that Ukraine will receive once the war ends.

On the flight from Japan, the prime minister said that the UK was looking to make such arrangements “to deter Ukraine in the future”.

Boris Johnson and Donald Trump often were flies on the ointment, at odds with their allies. Mr Sunak, however, is leading from the front, and seems to get a warmer reception in Japan.


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