During her working visit to Belgium, the Head of the Committee on Budget Roksolana Pidlasa, as part of the Ukrainian parliamentary delegation, met with the President of the Belgian House of Representatives Eliane Tillieux and members of the Belgian Parliament.
First of all, the Ukrainian delegation expressed gratitude for Belgium’s principled and unwavering support of Ukraine in the EU and the UN. The Chair of the Budget Committee noted that a bill on the confiscation of russian assets has already been registered in the Belgian Parliament and the Ukrainian side is looking forward to its speedy adoption.
“When I was asked whether I consider sanctions against russia effective, I said that sanctions work, but not enough. While Ukraine’s economy collapsed by 30% in 2022, russia’s economy collapsed by only 4.5% at best,” Roksolana Pidlasa said.
“One of russia’s revenue streams is the export of diamonds, which brings in more than $4 billion in revenue per year. 95% of the business is owned by the state-owned Alrosa, which is subject to US sanctions but not EU sanctions. Not least because of Belgium’s position. The Belgian city of Antwerp is the world’s largest hub for diamond trade,” the MP said.
“I told Ms. Speaker that we expected sanctions on the export of russian diamonds in the 9th EU sanctions package and will insist on their inclusion in the 10th package, and we hope that the Belgian Parliament will hold discussions on this topic and encourage the Belgian government to find an opportunity to support this part of the sanctions package,” the Head of the Budget Committee emphasized.