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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

De Beers: Agency Split No Problem

De Beers diamond giant said Friday that a Russian decree dividing the powers of a state diamond agency between two ministries had not affected ongoing negotiations, but said it did not know what the effects of the move would be.

"We have not been affected by any of the changes thus far. I honestly don't know what the result will be," said Raymond Clarke, head of De Beers Consolidated Mines Ltd.'s Moscow representation.

He said De Beers had ongoing relationships with several federal officials, including some at the Finance Ministry.

A Finance Ministry spokesman said a presidential decree Aug. 14 called for the duties of the Russian Committee for Precious Metals and Precious Stones to be divided between the finance and industry ministries.

De Beers is conducting negotiations that are set to resume Sept. 3 with Almazy Rossii-Sakha, Russia's largest diamond producer and sole exporter, which is owned in part by the Russian government.