Russia's Putin says ready to up Zimbabwe investment

By: 
Staff Reporter

President Vladimir Putin

Brigadier General Mike Nicholas Sango
Russia has traditionally been a key political backer for President Robert Mugabe, vetoing attempts by Western powers to sanction the Harare strongman at the United Nations.Brigadier General Mike Nicholas SangoBrigadier General Mike Nicholas Sango

RUSSIA President Vladimir Putin recently pledged to increase investment in Zimbabwe in another boost for the Harare administration as it bids to right the country’s struggling economy.

Putin last year dispatched Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Harare to conclude a billion-dollar platinum mining deal.

Russia has traditionally been a key political backer for President Robert Mugabe, vetoing attempts by Western powers to sanction the Harare strongman at the United Nations.

Moscow, along with Beijing also backed the country’s independence war.

Speaking while accepting the credentials of 16 new ambassadors, including Zimbabwe’s Brigadier General Mike Nicholas Sango, Putin pledged increased cooperation.

Putin said that Russia was interested in enhancing mutually advantageous political, economic and military-technical cooperation with Harare.

“We are ready to develop industrial cooperation and to invest capital and technologies in country’s extractive industry,” he pointed out to ambassador Mike Nicholas Sango.

The Harare regime is struggling to lift an economy battered by a recession that has lasted about a decade and a half.

Short of cash, and ideas according to the opposition, the government has looked to Russia and China for financial support an investment.

Chinese president Xi Jinping passed through Harare this week and agreed a number of investment deals said to be worth about $4billion.

Russian is poised to also increase its support Ambassador Sango wrote in an opinion piece following his appointment.

“The latest signal of Russia’s intent to strengthen its political and economic partnership with Zimbabwe is its $3 billion commitment to partner with us to develop our largest platinum mine,” he stated.

“This deal, signed in September 2014 in the capital Harare, involves the joint Zimbabwean-Russian development of the nearby Darwendale mine.

“Russian companies will finance the project, plan and carry out the technical work involved in opening the mine, and supply equipment for the operation.

“When the mine is at capacity, it will produce 600,000 ounces of platinum a year, making it Zimbabwe’s largest platinum operation.”

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