PRESIDENT Mnangagwa is expected in Russia today to join more than 40 African heads of State and Governments for the Second Russia Africa Economic and Humanitarian Forum that seeks to increase cooperation, entrench multilateralism, and tackle issues affecting the world.
This year forum, that is being held under the theme, ‘For peace, security and development’ is taking place at a time when the world is on the cusp of witnessing a new world order based on multilateralism as opposed to unilateralism.
It also comes at a time when nations are increasing turning their back against the sole use of the United States dollar with many countries now seeking to join the Brics group of nations, to which Russia is a member state.
In an interview, Zimbabwe Ambassador to the Russia Federation Mr Ambrose Mutinhiri said Russia is ready to host President Mnangagwa.
“The Soviet Union, which is now the Federation of Russia has had very friendly relations with African liberation movements, Zimbabwe in particular, those relations have remained very good to present day,” he said.
The Forum also presents road maps for Africa-Russia economic, scientific and humanitarian, cooperation on a win-win situation and dovetails with President Mnangagwa thrust of turning Zimbabwe into an upper middle class economy by 2030, through industrialisation and modernisation.
“We hope the political relationship will be matched with the economic cooperation. There are several Russian companies already in Zimbabwe and there are many more that are willing to come,” said Amb Mutinhiri.
Just like Russia, Zimbabwe is groaning under a battery of unjustifiable economic sanctions that were imposed by Western countries to effect illegal regime change in both countries.
However, the two countries have been undeterred, and continue implementing policies that uplift their citizens into prosperity, sanctions regardless.
Amb Mutinhiri added that the unique relationship between Harare and Moscow makes the two countries speak from the same position.
“The sanctions are uncalled for, they are unjust, the two Presidents will have bilateral meetings and on the side-lines of the meeting there are a number of agreements to be signed,” he said.
With Zimbabwe now open for business, thanks to President Mnangagwa engagement and re-engagement drive, Amb Mutinhiri said there many investors from Russia that want to invest in Zimbabwe.
“Nothing serious is inhibiting these investors but Zimbabweans are slow, our businesses are taking long to know Russians, there are taking time”.
For instance, he said, Russia is a major producer of fertilizer and its companies are ready to set office in Zimbabwe.
He said the visit by the President will also enable the two countries to deepen bilateral relations.
“All is set for the Africa Summit and Africa is converging in St Petersburg, Russia is ready for Africa,” he said.
Presently, there are more than 400 Zimbabwean students on scholarship at Russian universities and another 300 on private sponsorship signalling the strong relations between the two nations that were soldered during the liberation struggle and endure to present day notwithstanding threats of more sanctions by some countries that seek to make friends for Zimbabwe.