Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter
Russian Foreign Minister Mr Sergey Lavrov yesterday hailed President Mugabe as an African legend and historical figure as he reaffirmed his country’s support for the recognition of Africa’s voice in world politics.Mr Lavrov said this at the launch of a $3 billion platinum mining concern, Great Dyke Investments, a joint venture between Russian and Zimbabwean entities.
“There is no coming back to uni-polar world, bi-polar world, the future of the world could only be multi-polar otherwise the world system would not be sustainable and Africa is one of the pillars of the evolving world system and Russia would always be with Africa and today we got a confirmation from President Mugabe, a legend, an historical figure that Zimbabwe and Africa will always be with Russia,” Mr Lavrov said.
He said in discussions between the two countries during his visit, they had noted the futility of unilateral measures being taken against them by the West.
The United States and its European allies have imposed sanctions on Russia on spurious charges over Ukraine in much the same way they used alleged closure of democratic space to impose a ruinous sanctions regime on Zimbabwe in the wake of the fast-track land reform programme.
“In the course of today’s negotiations, we reaffirmed the commonality of our political positions in the world. Though Zimbabwe and Russia strongly support the respect for international law, the respect for the norms and principles of the UN Charter first of all, the right of the people to decide their own destiny, to decide all the disputes peacefully without any unilateral acts in particular the actions which Zimbabwe and Russia have experienced themselves and we are both convinced these unilateral coercive policies have no future what is important is to recognise the pluralism in the international community the emergence of new big players including the African continent whose interest and voice must be taken into account in world politics.
“There is no coming back to uni-polar world, bi-polar world, the future of the world could only be multi-polar otherwise the world system would not be sustainable and Africa is one of the pillars of the evolving world system and Russia would always be with Africa and today we got a confirmation from President Mugabe a legend, a historical figure that Zimbabwe and Africa will always be with Russia,” he said.
The West imposed the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe in retaliation to Zimbabwe’s moves to embark on the land reform programme meant to correct colonial land ownership imbalances.
Russia and China have, however, stood by Zimbabwe in international fora and as permanent members of the UN Security Council, vetoed attempts by the US, Britain and its allies to abuse the UN Charter’s chapter 7 to destabilise Zimbabwe.
The US and the EU have also imposed sanctions on Russia in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine that has seen some citizens of the country revolting against a Western backed government that came into power following a coup against the democratically elected government led by Viktor Yanukovych.
In his address President Mugabe said Zimbabwe also stood in solidarity with Russians in their dispute with the Western world.
“Take back to President Putin that we feel with him that those imposing sanctions on him have done so on us. That these are the evil men of our world those who go and act in defiance of international law, sanctions never approved by the UN and those falling on the Russian Federation today have not been approved by the UN and those which yesterday were imposed on us and remain on us were never approved by the UN.
“They are the works of the evil men of our world who are defiant of national law and morality of national law. We stand together we will fall together,” President Mugabe said.
The President said the joint venture deal was most welcome following other mega infrastructural development agreements he entered into during his recent State visit to China.
“This act we say to our people our greatest friends here they are. Yesterday, I was in Beijing, again there to get our greatest friends to work with us today. These are the two main pillars of support of our revolution yesterday and they remain the two pillars of our support in international law and so we say to them Great thanks for standing with us in perpetuity and we shall in perpetuity, all legs, stand with you from the love of our hearts, from the feelings of our hearts, from the commitment and determination of our nation and we shall always say we sail together and if we fall, let us fall together,” President Mugabe said.
Earlier in the day President Mugabe expressed his gratitude for the Russian delegation’s visit saying it had strengthened historical relations between Harare and Moscow, ties that date back to the days of Zimbabwe’s liberation struggle.
He said this after Mr Lavrov had paid a courtesy call on him at his rural home in Kutama Village.