The World Diamond Council (WDC) ended Alrosa’s membership on Friday in response to the latest US sanctions against the Russian miner. “The deciding factor [was] the sanctions issued by OFAC [the Office of Foreign Assets Control] on the evening of [April 7],” the WDC said Monday. “The termination of membership includes the cessation of any rights and benefits afforded to WDC members, such as a seat on the board of directors and participation in any WDC committee.” The WDC, which represents the industry at the Kimberley Process (KP), is incorporated in the US state of Delaware. Last Thursday, OFAC, part of the US Department of the Treasury, banned American entities from doing business with Alrosa. The latest US measures prohibit transactions involving property of Alrosa unless there is a specific license or exemption. American companies that had not already stopped doing direct business with Alrosa since the previous sanctions “absolutely must now cease doing so,” the Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) wrote in an alert to members. “The safest course of action for all US businesses is to tell all suppliers that they will no longer purchase any goods that originated from Alrosa,” according to the organization, which provides legal guidance to the trade. “It is not yet clear how OFAC or US Customs will interpret this new designation, but if a US business continues to deal in these goods, even indirectly, they are at risk for encountering issues upon importation or the freezing of assets.” Several trade groups have suspended ties with Alrosa and other Russian companies in light of the Western sanctions that have intensified since Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine. Last week, the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) confirmed that Andrey Yurin, head of Gokhran, the Russian state gem depository, was no longer on its board of directors or vice president of its precious metals commission. Gokhran, previously a member of CIBJO, assumed “observer” status.
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