The De Beers transnational company reckons on the approval by the European Commission of a new trade agreement with the Russian diamond-producing company ALROSA by the end of 2002.
De Beers Moscow-based representation reported that the company and ALROSA continue consultations with European Commission representatives on the new agreement on diamond trade. The agreement was submitted to the EC for consideration in February 2002. The need to coordinate the document with the European Commission was prompted by the fact that De Beers effects a major part of its trade operations on the European market.
In accordance with the new trade agreement designed for a term of five years, ALROSA may annually sell a USD 800 million worth of De Beers diamonds. Under the previous agreement, Russia annually sold De Beers through its dealers diamonds worth of no less than USD 550 million.
The new trade agreement between the two companies covering over 70 percent of the world diamond market was signed in late 2001. While the European Commission has not approved the agreement, ALROSA and De Beers cooperate according to the "free seller - free buyer" principle.