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The Scapegoat by William Holman Hunt, 1854.  Hunt had this framed in a picture with the quotations "Surely he hath borne our Griefs and carried our Sorrows; Yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of GOD and afflicted." (Isaiah 53:4) and "And the Goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a Land not inhabited." (Leviticus 16:22)

Alrosa has issued the following statement, dated June 8, through a Russian internet publication, www.rough-polished.com:

“ALROSA intends to bring a case before the Court of the United Kingdom claiming damage to the company’s commercial interests due to the publications by John Helmer posted on the PolishedPrices website. The Russian diamond mining company has already engaged the Mezhregion Bar Association to prepare this lawsuit.

As ALROSA informed rough-polished.com, the company “believes that publishing materials on would-be changes in its management with reference to some unnamed sources is directly damaging the company’s commercial interests while ALROSA is concluding long-term contracts.”

“Indeed, the company’s important customers had anything but simple experience interacting with ALROSA, when the rules and principles of mutual relationship were not transparent providing enough grounds for all kind of rumours,” ALROSA stressed.

According to the company’s spokesman, “switching over to long-term contracts removes the question of transparency in relations between the buyer and seller, which does not suit some non-professional market participants lacking experience under such conditions. The company’s shareholders represented by the spokesman of the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation have already made their statements in support of the decisions and business activity pursued by the company’s management in general. Nevertheless, John Helmer is regularly publishing articles in which he informs of impending changes in the company’s management referring to anonymous sources and probably implying that the company may change its trading policy. We believe that replicating the rumours, which were on several occasions belied by official statements on the part of the company’s shareholders, has nothing to do with professional journalism. PolishedPrices and John Helmer personally cannot be reproached for lack of knowledge about the market situation. What is more, they were given all the necessary explanations. This gives ground to suggest that this website has possibly taken some interest in publishing such texts which compels the company to go to law,” ALROSA said.

Alrosa spokesman Andrei Polyakov has been requested to set out his concerns and clarify those of chief executive, Sergei Vybornov. To date, there has been no reply.

According to a general editorial statement by rough-polished.com, posted on its website, “The major world diamond market companies are closed family businesses. The level of their transparency as compared to that of public companies is traditionally low, there being hardly any prospects for the situation to change in the nearest future. In the given state of affairs the mass media messages on such enterprises and their owners have greater influence which, in its turn, results in aggravating the reputation risks of the branch on the whole since mass media are frequently employed as instruments of business and political competition which is often far from being bona fide. Under the above circumstances generation and regular factual verification of press-portraits of the major diamond market participants combined with expert analysis of the data sources reliability is an urgent necessity. It seems to be next to the only instrument available for bringing the transparency of the market in question to the currently required standard.” (http://www.rough-polished.com/en/database/).

PolishedPrices reminds readers of its charter: “PolishedPrices is committed to complete independence. Nobody in PolishedPrices trades in diamonds”. http://www.polishedprices.com/Content/?Id=about

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