Russian President Mr Vladimir Putin has praised President Mnangagwa for bringing political stability to the country and steering Zimbabwe towards economic growth.
The message was delivered by Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov, when he met President Mnangagwa at his Munhumutapa Offices yesterday.
“As for the messages we conveyed from President Putin to the President of Zimbabwe, these messages are in support to the efforts of the President of Zimbabwe in stabilising the political situation in the country and consolidating society and developing comprehensive and multi-faceted cooperation with countries that are willing to help Zimbabwe in addressing its economy,” he said.
President Mnangagwa took over the leadership of the country after the Zimbabwe Defence Forces launched Operation Restore Legacy that led to the resignation of former President Mugabe.
The operation was meant to rid Zanu-PF and Government of the G40 cabal whose actions were causing untold suffering to ordinary people in the country.
Mr Lavrov slammed illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West and America, saying they distorted free market principles.
“I do not grasp why we should impose anything on any of our partners, Zimbabwe included. We work with any country that is ready to that on the basis of mutual rights and mutual benefits,” he said.
“We are certainly against any unilateral steps such as sanctions or trying to impose measures forcing this or that country to do something. Such measures as those imposed against Zimbabwe we believe these politicised steps distort the market and the countries that invoke these measures interfere illegally within the play of free market forces,” he said.
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Retired Lieutenant General Sibusiso Moyo also slammed recent utterances by US Secretary of State Mr Rex Tillerson that Chinese aid to African countries could only increase their indebtedness.
“Africa has its own self determination in terms of charting its own course in terms of economic cooperation with any member of nations in the international arena. So whether Africa goes left, right or straight forward that is up to them,” Minister Moyo said.
He said Zimbabwe welcomed Russia’s investments in the country and wanted to benefit from its technical expertise. “Zimbabwe has its own choice to invite its counterparts and corporates from Russia so that they can come and invest in Zimbabwe. It is the desire of Zimbabweans that we benefit out of the technology that the Russians are competent at so that we can also develop in terms of upgrading through the Special Economic Zone so that we can industrialise, value add and create value in what we do together with our partners who have stood with us in various international fora.”
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe and Russia plan to develop military-technical cooperation, in which the eastern European country would intensify its supply of weapons to the Zimbabwean army.
This came out during meetings between President Emmerson Mnangagwa and Russian Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Harare Thursday.
Addressing a news briefing at the end of the meeting, Lavrov said a joint working group would be established to foster cooperation in this area.
“Considering the experience of our interaction, which is long, very successful and is positively regarded by both sides, in the sphere of military, technical cooperation, we stated (in the meeting with Mnangagwa) that the decision to establish a working group on military-technical cooperation that first convened would also foster development of cooperation in this important area,” Lavrov said.
He said that the cooperation would help strengthen Zimbabwe’s position on the international stage.