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India Shields The Russian Diamond Industry: A Strategic Move

India’s recent actions in supporting Russia through importing crude oil and revitalizing the Russian diamond industry have raised eyebrows in the international community. This article explores the implications of India’s strategic decisions.

India’s strategic manoeuvres in 2024 have placed it at the centre of global attention, particularly for its role in supporting Russia amidst international sanctions. As of 2024, India’s imports of Russian crude oil have been robust, with a significant discount on Russia’s flagship crude grade Urals vis-à-vis the global benchmark Brent crude, which was around $15 per barrel at the beginning of 2023. Despite facing several headwinds, such as lower discounts and increasing competition from traditional oil suppliers, India’s Russian oil imports are unlikely to slip below 1.5 million barrels daily.

Simultaneously, India is poised to lead the global natural diamond demand due to its strong financial position and changing demographics. The Indian diamond market saw a 20% increase in consumption in 2024 compared to the previous year, with significant demand coming from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. The growth of organized retail jewellers in these areas is supporting this surge, demonstrating a broader economic resilience and adaptability.

This article examines the implications of India’s strategic decisions, examining how its engagement in importing Russian diamonds and crude oil supports Russia’s economy and reflects India’s economic pragmatism and resilience. Amidst the complexities of international sanctions, India’s nuanced approach to global politics and trade dynamics underscores the importance of maintaining strategic partnerships during challenging times. For observers of international trade engagements, India’s careful navigation through these turbulent waters offers valuable insights into the intricate balance of economic interests and diplomatic relations.

Key Takeaways

  • India is pivotal in supporting Russia’s diamond industry amidst international sanctions.
  • By facilitating the trade of Russian diamonds, India helps mitigate the economic impact of the sanctions.
  • Maneuvering through sanctions, India exemplifies diamond diplomacy to maintain global market dynamics.
  • The strategy underscores India’s importance in keeping commerce channels open for Russian gems.
  • India’s actions demonstrate a strategic partnership, reinforcing the diamond trade and aiding Russia’s economy.

Importing Russian Crude Oil

India’s recent decision to increase its engagement with Russia by importing Russian crude oil has raised eyebrows, particularly in the face of warnings issued by Western countries. Despite the geopolitical pressures and tensions surrounding Russia, India has stood by its commitment to support the nation.
Recent reports indicate that India has not wavered in its stance despite external pressures. The arrival of three tankers carrying Russian crude oil at Indian ports demonstrates India’s support for Russia during challenging times. This move reflects the depth of the bilateral relationship between the two nations, transcending mere economic considerations.

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Notably, India temporarily paused its imports of Russian crude oil following an advisory from New Delhi. However, imports swiftly resumed once an exchange mechanism was implemented, emphasizing India’s strategic management of energy resources.

Notably, amid the EU and G7’s recent ban on Russian diamonds, India has signalled its intention to revitalize the Russian diamond industry. This step underscores India’s willingness to step up and support Russia in the face of adversity. Indian authorities have expressed reservations regarding the ban, citing concerns about tracing rules and data-sharing obligations, underscoring the complexities surrounding such embargoes.

In response to the bans imposed by Western nations, Russia is shifting its focus towards countries like China, India, and the UAE for its diamond exports. In this context, India’s willingness to extend a helping hand to Russia assumes significant importance, especially considering the criticisms voiced by countries like the US and Germany.

Revitalising the Russian Diamond Industry

India’s increased engagement with Russia by importing Russian crude oil has garnered attention from Western nations, yet India’s support has been unwavering. Despite warnings and pressures from Western countries, Russia has found resilience through India’s continuous import of its crude oil. Recent reports indicate that India has received three tankers carrying Russian crude oil, demonstrating the ongoing partnership between the two nations.

Following guidance from New Delhi, India briefly paused its purchases of Russian crude oil. However, once an exchange mechanism was implemented, India resumed its imports, showcasing its commitment to supporting Russia in challenging times. Now, India is looking to strengthen its ties with Russia further by playing a vital role in revitalizing the Russian diamond industry.

Indian authorities have intervened to request a postponement of the ban on Russian diamonds imposed by the European Union (EU) and the Group of Seven (G7). Indian officials’ concerns revolve around the tracing rules and data-sharing requirements associated with the ban, highlighting the need for a collaborative approach to address these issues.

In response to the ban by the EU and G7, Russia is strategically shifting its focus towards countries like China, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for diamond exports. With India standing by Russia’s side and extending its support during challenging times, the Russian Diamond industry is set to witness a revitalization through new partnerships and collaborations.

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India Shields The Russian Diamond Industry: A Strategic Move 5

International Criticism and India’s Response

India’s decision to increase engagement with Russia by importing Russian crude oil has garnered criticism from countries like the US and Germany. Despite the warnings from Western nations, India has stood by its support for Russia, leading to tensions in the international arena.

Despite facing backlash, India continues to extend a helping hand to Russia, showcasing a commitment to maintaining diplomatic ties and strategic partnerships. Recently, Indian ports welcomed three tankers carrying Russian crude oil, signalling a continuation of this controversial trade relationship.

Amidst global tensions and mounting pressure from Western allies, India has strategically positioned itself as a key player in the geopolitical landscape. By maintaining its support for Russia, India strengthens its diplomatic bond with Moscow and asserts its independent foreign policy stance.
This strategic positioning reflects India’s ability to navigate complex international dynamics while safeguarding its national interests. The decision to resume imports of Russian crude oil after establishing necessary protocols highlights India’s pragmatic approach to balancing global relationships.

Challenges for the Diamond Industry

Facing strict international sanctions, the Russian diamond industry encounters notable obstacles, with India playing a pivotal role in mitigating the impact through strategic trade adjustments.

ChallengeImpact on PricesGlobal Market Dynamics
SanctionsIncreasedShift in trade routes
Dependence on IndiaStabilizedConcentration of trade
Market UncertaintyVolatileFluctuating demand & supply
The Impact of Sanctions on Russian Diamonds on the Global Diamond Industry

The sanctions have created a turbulent environment, considerably affecting global market dynamics. Prices have seen an uptick due to the restricted supply, while India’s involvement has brought a semblance of stability to the market. Yet, the long-term implications for the global diamond trade remain uncertain, posing challenges and opportunities for freedom-seeking participants eager to navigate these turbulent waters.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do Sanctions Impact Global Diamond Prices?

Sanctions and trade restrictions on countries like Russia induce market volatility, considerably impacting global diamond prices. Such measures disrupt supply chains, causing fluctuations in availability and prices.

The diamond industry, heavily reliant on consistent supply lines, faces challenges in maintaining stability. As countries adapt by redirecting exports, market dynamics shift, leading to unpredictable price trends.

This scenario underscores the intricate relationship between geopolitical actions and global trade patterns.

Can India Source Diamonds From Countries Other Than Russia?

India can source diamonds from countries beyond Russia, leveraging existing and potential trade partnerships.

Diamond certification plays a pivotal role in ensuring these gems’ legitimacy and ethical sourcing, which can facilitate India’s access to global diamond markets.

What Alternatives to Diamonds Are Gaining Popularity?

Amidst evolving consumer preferences and ethical considerations, lab-grown diamonds have emerged as a popular alternative to natural diamonds, reflecting a significant shift in gemstone trends. These synthetic gems offer the allure of diamonds without the environmental and ethical concerns associated with traditional mining.

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Additionally, there’s a growing interest in diverse gemstones, such as sapphires, emeralds, and rubies, which are increasingly sought for their unique colours and qualities, further diversifying the jewellery market.

How Do Consumers Identify Diamonds’ Country of Origin?

Consumers can rely on gem certification and laser inscription methods to identify a diamond’s country of origin.

Reputable organizations certify gem certification, which provides a detailed report on the characteristics and origin of the diamond.

Laser inscription, however, involves etching a unique identification number and sometimes the country of origin directly onto the diamond’s girdle, allowing for easy verification and traceability.

These tools empower consumers with the knowledge to make informed decisions.

Are There Environmental Concerns With Diamond Mining in Russia?

Environmental concerns associated with diamond mining in Russia primarily revolve around the mining techniques employed and their impact on local wildlife and ecosystems. The extraction processes can significantly disrupt wildlife habitats, contributing to the loss of biodiversity.

Additionally, altering landscapes and potential pollution from mining activities pose further threats to the surrounding environment, emphasizing the need for sustainable practices and mitigative measures to minimize ecological damage.


In summary, India’s strategic engagement in importing Russian crude oil and supporting the diamond industry amidst Western sanctions showcases a multifaceted approach to safeguarding its economic interests while bolstering Russia’s economy. By manoeuvring through the complexities of global trade and sanctions, India has positioned itself as a key player in mitigating the impact of these economic measures on Russia.

This delicate balancing act underscores the nuanced interplay of diplomacy, trade, and national interests in the contemporary geopolitical landscape.

Despite facing criticism from the US and Germany for supporting Russia, India continues to extend a helping hand to Moscow, showcasing strategic positioning amidst global tensions.

Further Reading About India’s Strategy For Russian Diamonds in 2024

(1) In 2024: ‘Several headwinds could limit India’s Russian oil imports’.
(2) India to lead global natural diamond demand in 2024 – The Economic Times.
(3) How Much Do Russian Crude Discounts Benefit The Indian Oil Marketing Segment?
(4) Asian Imports of Russian Crude Oil to Hit a 10-Month High in March.
(5) India Crude Oil: Imports, 1980 – 2024 | CEIC Data.
(6) Russian Crude Oil Flow to India to Grow in 2024 Amid De-Dollarisation.
(7) India Diamond Market (2023-2029) | Trends, Outlook & Forecast.
(8) India: jewelry and diamond companies by market cap 2024 – Statista.
(9) Budget 2024 can polish India’s gold & diamond industry to shine for the ….
(10) India to lead global natural diamond demand in 2024. | IBEF.

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Andrew Wilson is a seasoned writer specializing in the jewellery industry. He began his career in newspapers, developing strong research and reporting skills before transitioning to marketing, where he gained insights into consumer behaviour and market trends. For the past 15 years, he has been a full-time writer, combining his journalism and marketing experience. In 2019, he shifted his focus to the jewellery industry, known for his research-driven approach and in-depth insights. An active member of the International Gem Society, Andrew contributes to various jewellery businesses under pseudonyms, earning respect for his knowledge-rich and engaging writing style. His work is guided by a commitment to making the jewellery industry more accessible and informative.