RUSSIA will enhance its partnership and cooperation with Zimbabwe in various fields and is confident that the country, under the leadership of President Mnangagwa, will achieve Vision 2030 to be an upper-middle-class economy.
After paying a courtesy call on President Mnangagwa at State House in Harare yesterday, Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Krasilnikov said his country will steadfastly stand by Zimbabwe.
Such engagements and expression of confidence in Zimbabwe are evidence that President Mnangagwa’s diplomatic offensive under the engagement and re-engagement drive, are paying undeniable dividends.
In an interview following a closed-door meeting with the President, Amb Krasilnikov said relations between Harare and Moscow continue to grow in leaps and bounds.
He said Russia’s confidence in Zimbabwe had grown, especially after President Mnangagwa and his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, held fruitful bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the Russia-Africa summit in July.
“President Mnangagwa gave me an excellent opportunity to confirm the commitment of my country to enhancing fruitful cooperation with Zimbabwe in various spheres and sectors in the bilateral and multilateral dimensions,” he said.
“This co-operation is based on the deep-rooted relations of friendship, mutual trust and mutual respect between our brotherly nations.”
Amb Krasilnikov went on to commend Zimbabwe for holding the August 23/24 harmonised elections in a “democratic and sovereign” manner.
This, he said, had laid the foundation for sustainable socio-economic growth for Harare and Moscow.
“This cooperation is based on the confidence in the sustainable socio-economic development of both our countries especially after the successful harmonised general elections in Zimbabwe, held in a democratic and sovereign way and with the success and yet another victory of the revolutionary glorious party Zanu PF under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.”
Amb Krasilnikov also revealed that Russian epidemiology specialists are in the country to collaborate with their Zimbabwean counterparts on how to prevent and control infectious diseases such as cholera.
“Right now, in Harare we have a delegation of Russian experts in epidemiology, they engaged in dialogue with their partners in the Ministry of Health and Child Care and they already visited a number of laboratories in Harare and we hope that their collaboration will contribute to fighting and preventing cholera and other infectious diseases,” he said.
Amb Krasilnikov said it was worth noting that cooperation between Zimbabwe and Russia is not only limited to their respective countries but is global.
“Our countries cooperate and interact very effectively in the international arena mostly at the United Nations. Just recently Russia and Zimbabwe co-sponsored a draft resolution on humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza, unfortunately it was blocked by Western countries.
“Nevertheless, Russia and Zimbabwe co-sponsored and prepared together two more United Nations resolutions, one is for fighting other forms of racism and xenophobia and another on the negotiation process on prevention of use of ICT for criminal purposes, so both these resolutions were adopted due to the joint efforts of Russia, Zimbabwe and like-minded countries,” he said.
Amb Krasilnikov also revealed that he had extended an invitation to President Mnangagwa for Zimbabwe to participate at the World Youth Festival to be held in Sochi next year.
“We have a very good prospect of our cooperation and I believe that there will be a very good opportunity for the Zimbabwean society to find out more about Russia next year when we have a young people’s festival in March in the city of Sochi. The idea is to gather people who have talents in various fields like business, politics, sport, arts and culture so we expect a big delegation to come from Zimbabwe to Russia to participate in this young people’s festival. I had a very good opportunity to brief His Excellency on this issue,” he said.
The Ambassador said a leading Russian news agency, TASS, would be coming to set up shop in Zimbabwe on a permanent basis.
This, he said, would ensure seamless flow of information from Zimbabwe to Russia and vice versa.
“In order for the Zimbabwean people to get more news about Russia and also for the Russian people to get more information about the potential of this wonderful country, we will have a permanent office of the leading Russian news agency to be stationed here in Zimbabwe.
“It is called TASS so very soon they will start operating on a permanent basis from Harare so you will have very good colleagues in terms of news coverage. I expect the representative to come at the beginning of December,” said Amb Krasilnikov.