Mukudzei Chingwere Herald Reporter
Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message to President Mnangagwa with the aim of entrenching existing excellent bilateral relations and establishing new economic interchange between the two countries.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Moyo received the message on behalf of the President from Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mr Nikolai Vladimirovic Krasilnikov.
Posting on micro-blogging site — Twitter — Dr Moyo said: “Efforts are underway to accelerate our economic partnership with Russia.” The actual contents of the message were not disclosed, but Zimbabwe and Russia have strong relations which date back to the days of the liberation struggle.
On the economic front, Russian mining ventures are already investing a lot of money through the Great Dyke Investments and the ALROSA group, which have interests in platinum and diamonds.
President Mnangagwa has already said the mining sector, together with agriculture, will form the backbone on which Zimbabwe will build Vision 2030 of achieving an upper middle income economy by that year.
Without divulging the contents of the letter after delivering it to Dr Moyo, Ambassador Krasilnikov highlighted a lot of areas of cooperation between Zimbabwe and his country.
“Today I had the privilege to deliver the message from the President of the Russian Federation, His Excellency Mr Vladimir Putin, to the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe His Excellency Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa,” he said. “I used this opportunity to discuss with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Zimbabwe Honourable Minister Sibusiso Moyo, prospects of bilateral cooperation in various fields. In the framework of the joint commission that Honourable Minister co-chairs.
“Russia has great confidence in the socio-economic development of the Republic of Zimbabwe. We have a lot of spheres of common interest that we discussed, that we developed together. Among other issues, we focused on prospects of Zimbabwe joining the clinical trials of the Russian vaccines and considering the great potential of Zimbabwe, we believe that we are very well on track in this regard and in other spheres of the mutually beneficial cooperation as well.”
President Mnangagwa visited his Russian counterpart in January last year, as part of a four-nation tour of Eurasia.
The two leaders discussed key economic deals, as well as matters of mutual concern on the international arena. The relationship between the two countries was defined within the context of a Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement and the Zimbabwe-Russia Joint Commission.
Last year’s visit to Russia by President Mnangagwa paved the way for the $3 billion Darwendale platinum project, a joint mining and beneficiation venture.