With tension between the United States and Russia continuing to grow, Alrosa has said it will close down its U.S. office by the end of April, Alrosa USA president Rebecca Foerster tells JCK.
Foerster, a respected industry veteran, resigned her position on March 10, prior to the decision to close the office.
“It was the right time to step down, with the geopolitical situation being what is,” she says.
One day later, President Joseph Biden banned Russia from importing rough or polished diamonds into the United States, in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Russian diamonds cut and polished elsewhere are still, for the moment, allowed.
But that defeated the purpose of the U.S. office, which existed, in part, to sell Russian goods direct to the American market.
Alrosa first opened its U.S. office in 2006, but it lay mostly dormant until 2018. Foerster has been its head since 2019.
Alrosa, the leading Russian gem miner and the world’s leading diamond producer by volume, is one-third owned by the Russian Federation.