Source: Zim ready to elevate relations with Russia | The Herald June 13, 2018
Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Zimbabwe is committed to transform its bilateral ties with Russia into enhanced economic cooperation and partnership for the mutual benefit of the two countries. This is in line with President Mnangagwa’s mantra that Zimbabwe is open for business and the target of transforming Zimbabwe into a middle income economy by 2030.
Officiating at the Russian National Day in Harare yesterday, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Dr Sibusiso Busi Moyo said: “Zimbabwe is strongly committed to the translation of our bilateral political relations into enhanced economic cooperation and partnership.
“The recent visit by the Russian Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Mr Sergey Lavrov, which culminated in the signing of more cooperative agreements is testimony to the increasing cooperation between the two countries.
“Our Russian friends have embraced the new dispensation and the new leadership which has strategically introduced more economic reforms in line with the President’s call that ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’.
“In our bilateral relations, we have transformed these into a deeper economic partnership. That is important. We want relations which are all embracing. Political solidarity alone would be without the necessary complementarity of economic exchanges which transform the livelihood of our people in a positive trajectory.
“Thus, the new economic partnership could not have come at a better time. We want our Russian friends to be among the first members in the family of nations to benefit from the momentous economic changes which are taking place under the leadership of His Excellency President ED Mnangagwa.”
Dr Moyo said Zimbabwe appreciated Russia’s assistance to Zimbabwean students through the provision of scholarships. He said the scholarships had benefited some students studying in critical sectors over the years.
As the country goes for harmonised elections on July 30, Dr Moyo said, Zimbabwe looked forward to benefit from the honest and constructive evaluations by Russians that should assist the country to advance peace, harmony and development.
Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Sergey Bakharev said relations between Harare and Moscow were blossoming.
“Our contacts are now getting on a new level,” he said.
“The beginning of this year was marked with the remarkable event – the visit of our Foreign Minister His Excellency Mr Sergey Lavrov to Zimbabwe.
“He had very fruitful negotiations with Zimbabwe President His Excellency Mr Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa.
“Thus our relations received an additional acceleration, which, I am confident, would result in further strengthening of our bilateral interaction.”
He said Russia welcomed democratic changes that happened in Zimbabwe last year and is hopeful that the country would conduct uncontested polls on July 30.
Ambassador Bakharev said relations between Zimbabwe and Russia were important to Moscow’s African policy.
“For us, relations with Zimbabwe are one of the most important vectors of our African policy,” he said.
“We are enhancing multilateral cooperation in all major spheres.
“On global challenges and most acute problems of the international agenda, the positions of our two countries are similar, both Moscow and Harare are in favour of strict observance of the principles of International Law and the UN Charter.
“Zimbabwe and Russia are fully committed to non-interference of the internal affairs of independent states, strongly oppose any attempt to impose the so-called “New World Order” to the modern international relations.
“Zimbabwe remains a sturdy and reliable partner in every sphere in which our nations cooperate.”