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Diamond Imports from Russia Banned

The United States has sanctioned Russian brilliant diamonds, supplying about 30% of the world’s rough supply. On Friday, in an executive order the U.S. president banned the import of “non-industrial diamonds” and commodities such as vodka, caviar and other luxury goods.   

Talking to reporters, Joe Biden said the United States and its allies increase economic pressures on Russia to isolate it in the global arena.

The sanctions by the U.S. put an end to trade relations with Alrosa, one third of which belongs to Russia. Alrosa mining company leads the world in diamond mining by volume, mined 32.4m carats last year.

This is while restrictions on Russia’s economy, following its invasion of Ukraine, have already made it hard to buy diamonds.

It has not yet been clarified if the ban impacts diamonds of Russian mines which are cut and polished out of the country.

Jewelers Vigilance Committee (JVC) has recommended its 600 members to instantly suspend direct purchases of the precious stone from Russia. 

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By Saha on March 15, 2022

World Energy Powers Meet Soon As Oil Prices Rise

Energy leaders of the world plan to meet this week at the yearly CERA Week conference in Houston, Texas amidst rising oil and gas prices.

Oil prices have soared to over US$110 per barrel, the highest in a decade. Gas prices hit record highs too, aggravating the economic situation.

Daniel Yergin, energy expert and vice chairman of IHS Markit, said the conference is taking place amidst political unrest and unstable energy markets.

Sanctions from the U.S. and other countries have blocked Russian crude oil from most world markets. That’s driven up prices for oil from other sources.

Bank of America’s estimate reveals that with the loss of each million barrels of Brent in the market, the price might increase by $20 a barrel.

Demand for goods and oil keeps increasing; however, lower supplies mean customers must cope with rising oil prices.

In an interview with CNBC, John Kilduff, the Founding Partner of Again Capital said he expected pipeline oil in Russia will keep going to China, which is against sanctions. Rising oil and gas prices, he said, should discourage demand for petroleum and stimulate the growth of renewable energy.

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By Saha on March 6, 2022

PayPal Suspends Services in Russia

PayPal Holdings, Inc. closed down its services in Russia on Saturday in support of many technology and financial companies which have stopped operations in the country in the wake of Ukraine attack.  

In his statement, CEO of PayPal Dan Schulman said suspension in Russia takes place following “the current circumstances”. PayPal will join suspension measure for a while to make sure that dispersion of the account balances goes according to applicable legislation.  

Only transborder businesses are allowed by PayPal users in Russia; the financial technology company refused new users in the country to join on Wednesday. 

This comes after the Ukrainian government authorities requested fundraising and a cease in services to Russia.

PayPal has raised over $150 million through the charities which have supported Ukraine since Russia invaded Ukraine.  

Xoom, which is a cheaper option for transferring money, has also been suspended in the invading country.

Remitly, dedicated for personal transfers, and Wise, for small and medium business transfers, have already ceased some of their services in Russia.

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By Saha on March 5, 2022

Asian Markets Improve Due To Sanctions on Russia

Stocks in Asia rebounded as Washington decided not to exert harshest sanctions on Russia.The U.S. sanctions are aimed at two largest banks in Russia and controlling the country’s defense sector.

Russia’s decision to dispatch military forces to Ukraine shocked Asian and European markets. Oil prices past $100, the first time since 2014, and traders in Eastern Europe faced a serious challenge. Oil saw a growth; Brent over $100 per barrel while analysts cautioned that the crisis might cause a rise in prices for several months.

Worries exist over supplying essential goods like wheat, metal, and crude oil.

The gains in Tokyo rose 2% and Mumbai at a growth of 2.4%; in the meantime, Jakarta, Bangkok, Seoul and Wellington were up 1%. The benchmark Nikkei 225 index increased 1.95% and Topix index rose 1.00%.

Sydney, Singapore, Shanghai and Taipei saw gains. The Shanghai Composite Index surged 0.63% and the Shenzhen Composite Index on China’s second exchange gained 1.21%.

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By Saha on February 27, 2022

Russian Stock Indexes Drop Amid Tensions

As President Vladimir Putin dispatched troops into Ukraine, the stock indexes in Russia dropped on Tuesday. The RTS Index was down 32.5% since the beginning of 2022 and MOEX dropped by 8.8%.

Prior to his order to send troops to the regions, Putin recognized independence of the two separatist regions, Donetsk and Lugansk.

The Russian central bank would be affected by the possible sanctions against the country. However, the Russian bank said it will monitor financial market and take essential measures to keep the financial status stable.

BCS Global Markets said this conflict would lead to a huge selloff of assets.

Although Russia has denied the plans to attack Ukraine, the assets of the country have been impacted, as worries for new sanctions arise.

Russian OFZ bonds, once profitable among foreign investors, dropped further too.

The country’s Brent crude oil at $97.40 per barrel could not help Russian assets either. 

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By Saha on February 23, 2022

Seafood Imports to China Put Off for a Month

China, once assumed as the origin of the new pandemic, will delay seafood imports from the neighboring Russia following the existence of coronavirus on the packaging of products. The virus, detected by the authorities from the eastern coastal province of Shandong, is the main cause behind the suspension. The country has escalated its limits on seafood imports from different countries because of the potential coronavirus. Customs office of China has also announced that aquatic imports from Brazil has been delayed due to detection of the virus. China postponed its imports from Indonesia altogether as the test for the COVID-19 proved positive. Samira H.
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By Samira Hassanzadeh on October 19, 2021

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