Zelenskyy targets Russian diamonds in address to Belgian Parliament

Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo walks off the podium as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Belgian MPs in Brussels, Thursday March 31 2022.
Belgium's Prime Minister Alexander De Croo walks off the podium as Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addresses Belgian MPs in Brussels, Thursday March 31 2022. Copyright Virginia Mayo/Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved
By Alberto De Filippis
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The city of Antwerp is responsible for the trade of 86% of rough diamonds mined in the world, according to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre.

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Ukraine's president has taken a swipe at Belgium's decision not to ban the import of Russian diamonds during an address to the country's national parliament.

Much like his addresses to other Western legislatures, which are quickly becoming many, Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged members of the Belgian Parliament to stop the city of Antwerp, which is a global hub for diamond trading, from dealing in the precious stone.

"You can do more to help us - to evict the occupants and win precious peace," Zelenskyy told Belgian MPs on Thursday. "I think that peace is more valuable than diamonds in shops."

Belgium's foreign affairs minister Sophie Wilmes told Euronews that Ukraine has the full support of the Belgian government and the EU, and that no area is off limits when it comes to sanctions.

"There is already in the sanctions package something about diamonds, and Belgium has never been against any sanctions that have been proposed by the EU Commission. We have no taboo," Wilmes said.

Green MP Samuel Cogolati reiterated his party's support also.

"My message is extremely clear: The Kremlin and Putin's regime won’t buy Belgium's silence and inaction with diamonds, oil, or gas," Cogolati told Euronews.

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