Russia says it may buy diamonds from sanctions-hit Alrosa

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An employee holds a rough diamond at the Diamonds of ALROSA factory in Moscow, Russia, April 30, 2021. REUTERS/Tatyana Makeyeva

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April 27 (Reuters) - Russia may buy an as yet undetermined amount of rough diamonds from sanctions-hit producer Alrosa (ALRS.MM) through its state precious metals and gems repository Gokhran, the country's Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said on Wednesday.

The United States imposed sanctions on state-controlled Alrosa in April, complicating the Russian company's operations in the global diamond market, with the aim of cutting off a source of revenue for Russia. read more

"We do not rule out the possibility of Gokhran purchasing diamonds produced by Alrosa. The amount will be determined later," Siluanov told reporters.

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Gokhran is generally more focused on purchases of precious metals from Russian domestic producers than diamonds, he added.

Alrosa, the world's largest producer of rough diamonds, was behind about 30% of global output in 2021 and competes with Anglo American (AAL.L) unit De Beers.

Its sales, mainly to Belgium, India and the United Arab Emirates, totalled $4.2 billion in 2021.

Gokhran bought diamonds worth $1 billion from Alrosa during years of weak demand caused by the global financial crisis.

($1 = 73.8720 roubles)

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Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Alexander Smith

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