(Rapaport…October 29, 2004) The Russian Finance Ministry will declassify diamond data for mining, exports and imports dating back to January 1, 2003, Interfax reported Friday, quoting a ministry statement.
Diamond data in terms of carats and total value will be published in the press, initially for half-year periods and then on a quarterly basis. Data on rough diamond exports and imports will be published on a quarterly and annual basis. The data refers to diamonds that fall under the ministry’s own jurisdiction, the statement reads.
On October 21, non governmental organizations Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada said in a joint release that progress on conflict diamonds has been compromised by a lack of statistics from Russia.
“Russia’s non-compliance for almost two years on this key issue brings its proposed chairmanship of the Kimberley Process in 2005 into serious doubt,” said Corinna Gilfillan of Global Witness.
Russia passed legislation to declassify diamond data months ago, but it has not been signed into law by President Vladimir Putin, the two non-governmental organizations said.
Russia, one of the world’s largest diamond producers, is due to take the chair of the Kimberley Process in January.