via US denies threatening new Zim sanctions 06 October 2014
THE United States has refuted media reports claiming Washington threatened to impose new sanctions on Zimbabwe over the country’s economic relations with Russia.
The government last month inked a $3 billion deal with Russia to establish what would be Zimbabwe’s largest platinum mine when fully operational in 2014.
The US has recently imposed sanctions on Russia for allegedly providing military backing to Ukrainian separatists and generally destabilising the region.
State media at the weekend claimed that Washington was trying to sabotage the platinum deal and threatened to tighten sanctions imposed in 2003 over allegations of rights abuses and electoral fraud.
An unidentified official with the foreign affairs ministry reportedly told the Sunday Mail: “The communication on the subject was, indeed, received at the end of last week.
“There was a thinly veiled threat to the effect that, ‘You will also be putting yourselves under sanctions if you deal with Russia and its companies’.
“The Americans list the Russian companies on sanctions and also say these sanctions will only be lifted if Russia ‘co-operates’ on Ukraine.”
Embassy spokesperson, Karen Kelley, said there is no link between sanctions Washington imposed on Russia and those the country placed on President Robert Mugabe and his cronies more than a decade ago.
“Regarding the recent reports in the local media in Zimbabwe, I can say that there is no link between U.S. sanctions on Russia and the targeted sanctions policy on a limited number of individuals and entities in Zimbabwe.
“All U.S. sanctions frameworks are separate and distinct,” Kelly responded to NewZimbabwe.com in an email Monday.
“Due to Russia’s escalated, direct military intervention and continuing efforts to destabilize Ukraine, the Departments of Treasury and Commerce announced they imposed additional sanctions and deepened existing sanctions on Russia,” she said.
“We have also said if Russia fully implements the 12 requirements of the September 5th Minsk agreement, these latest sanctions can and will be rolled back.”