Kudrin Calls for Tougher Industry Control

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(Rapaport… April 1, 2004) Alexei Kudrin, Russian Finance Minister, told press at the World Diamond Council (WDC) meeting in Dubai on March 31, 2004, that an effective control system should be created to make sure that the international diamond trade complies with the principles of the Kimberley Process (KP), reports Ria Novosti.

Russia backs the international community’s efforts to prevent international trade in conflict diamonds and to thereby deprive terrorist networks and drug traffickers of an important source of financial support, Kudrin said. He added that, in the four years since the launch of the KP, its 70-odd participants have managed to elaborate principles to govern export and import operations involving rough diamonds. Their next priority should be the creation of an effective control mechanism to ensure that these principles are acted upon.

According to Kudrin, Russia draws on the positive experience of international co-operation within the KP framework as it tries to make its domestic diamond industry more open and transparent. He explained these efforts are essential not just for facilitating Russian producers’ integration into the world diamond market, but also for raising their attractiveness in the foreign investor’s eye. He promised that Russia would continue to deliver on its KP commitments, including bringing its trade regulations in line with the world’s regulations. According to Kudrin, one forthcoming step in that direction is the adoption of bylaws to facilitate the enforcement of recent amendments to Russia’s state secret legislation. These amendments are aimed at declassifying data on Russian diamond production and trade.

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