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Russia-Zim relations united by tough sanctions – Mnangagwa

By Staff  Reporter

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has described his counterpart, Vladimir Putin a “true, dependable friend” after Russia donated fertilizer and grain to Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe received a donation of 25 000 tonnes of wheat and 23 000 tonnes of fertiliser donated by Russia, as part of its commitment to support African nations.

Mnangagwa said “there are quarters” who do not want the two countries to be friends, but told them off saying this was “nonsense.”

“I’m surprised that Zimbabwe is on sanctions, the Russian Federation is on sanctions… certain quarters then say, you two nations we have given you sanctions so don’t talk to each other.

“What nonsense. We shall talk. We, victims of sanctions shall talk to each other,” he said.

According to Mnangagwa Zimbabwe and Russia’s bond of friendship dates back to the days of the liberation struggle.

“Russia played an active role in training our gallant sons and daughters in the fight against colonialism.

“Over the years, this relationship has transcended into mutually beneficial and strategic cooperation, spanning across various sectors of the economy.

“Our two countries, Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation, continue to be subjected to the heinous and illegal sanctions imposed by hegemonic powers of the West.

“Throughout the 23 years of sanctions, the Russian Federation has been a true, trusted and dependable ally of the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.

Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka thanked Russia for supporting Zimbabwe, highlighting that it was a mammoth task to bring the donation home.

The government paid US$2, 8 million for logistics from Beira Port to Aspindale and also paid a further US$2,8 million to move the fertilizer.

“So it was a major logistics operation,” he said.

Masuka said Zimbabwe holds 190 000 metric tonnes of cereal in its grain reserves.

Zimbabwe is currently facing an El Nino-induced drought following a prolonged dry spell which ruined the staple food summer crop.

Humanitarian organisations say over 2, 7 million people require food aid this year.

Mnangagwa said that given climate change and the current El-Nino-induced drought, the government has taken a deliberate policy position to adopt a wheat-based food security intervention now and into the future.

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