Official sees Armenia’s diamond reexport ban lifted by April

Prime-Tass English-language Business Newswire
February 4, 2005

Official sees Armenia’s diamond reexport ban lifted by April

YEREVAN, Feb 4 (Prime-Tass) — Restrictions on the reexport of
Russian uncut diamonds from Armenia are expected to be lifted by
April 2005, Gagik Lazarian, director of the precious stones
department of Armenia’s Trade and Economic Development Ministry, told
reporters Friday.

According to Article 5 of the Russian-Armenian intergovernmental
agreement, it is forbidden to reexport Russian uncut diamonds from
Armenia, he said, but negotiations on canceling the prohibition are
currently under way.

According to the agreement, Russia may supply Armenia with up to
400,000 carats of uncut diamonds annually for the country’s own use
in 2002-2004, and up to 450,000 carats in 2005-2006. Russia’s uncut
diamond monopoly Alrosa and Almazyuvelirexport supply the diamonds.

However, in 2003-2004 Armenia did not purchase its full quota of
diamonds from Russia because of the liberalization of the Russian
diamond market, which made Alrosa increase its prices.

Alrosa accounts for 99% of the uncut diamond production in Russia and
produces 20% of the world’s diamonds in terms of mass and 26% in
terms of value. End