Putin happy with friendly Zim relations

Africa Moyo Deputy News Editor
Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is happy with the “friendly and constructive relations” being enjoyed between his country and Zimbabwe.

In a letter on Africa Day, President Putin hyped relations with the Southern African nation and said he expected the two countries to enhance their relations during the Russia-Africa Summit and Business Forum set for October in Sochi.

“I am pleased to note the friendly and constructive relations that our countries enjoy,” said President Putin.

“I am confident that the Russia-Africa Summit and the Business Forum that we will hold in Sochi in October will foster qualitative development of these relations and help us outline new forms of fruitful cooperation.

“I sincerely wish you good health and success in State activities as well as peace and well-being to the peoples of the African continent.”

Regards the 56th anniversary of the formation of the African Union (AU), formerly Organisation of African Unity (OAU), President Putin said African states have achieved steady progress in various spheres of life.

“You have my warmest greetings on Africa Day — the holiday celebrating the unity and mutual assistance of the peoples of your continent, their desire for independence, peace and prosperity.

“African nations have achieved steady progress in social, economic, scientific and technological development and play an increasingly important role in addressing pressing issues on the international agenda.

“We witness a growing multilateral cooperation in various fields within the African Union and other regional and sub-regional structures, as well as the advancement of mutually beneficial integration processes.”

He added that Russia fully supports the efforts of African partners to resolve local conflicts and crises, counter terrorism and extremism, drug trafficking and trans-border crime, and confront other challenges and threats to regional and global security.

Russia has become one of the biggest supporters of Africa in general and Zimbabwe in particular, pouring investments worth millions of dollars.

Recently, Zimbabwe signed a joint venture US$4 billion platinum deal that will see the two countries extracting platinum in Darwendale.

The deal was reactivated following President Mnangagwa’s State visit to Moscow, after the initial one signed in 2014 had stalled under unclear circumstances.

Alrosa Group, a Russian firm, has also been co-opted as one of the two foreign diamond miners that will work together with the Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company (ZCDC).

The other foreign diamond miner is Anjin Investments of China.