Top Russian envoy Lavrov jets in
Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
Russian Foreign Minister Mr Sergey Lavrov arrived in Harare last night to deliver a special message to President Mnangagwa from President Vladimir Putin. Zimbabwe and Russia enjoy warm bilateral relations dating back to the days of the liberation struggle. Mr Lavrov is expected to meet President Mnangagwa this morning and thereafter hold a meeting with Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Dr Sibusiso Moyo (Retired).
He is also expected to sign a cooperation agreement and meet the business community.
Mr Lavrov was welcomed at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport by Minister Moyo and Foreign Affairs Secretary Ambassador Joey Bimha, senior Government officials and Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Sergey Bakharev and embassy staff.
Mr Lavrov’s visit is expected to further cement the solid relations between Harare and Moscow.
Russia has stood by Zimbabwe when the West imposed illegal sanctions on Harare.
Announcing Mr Lavrov’s visit on Tuesday, Minister Moyo said: “The excellent political relations between the two countries have created ground for expanded economic ties, trade, mining and cooperation in many areas such as agricultural mechanisation and manpower development.”
Mr Lavrov, who is President Putin’s confidante, is leading a high-powered delegation.
He last visited Zimbabwe in 2014 for the ground-breaking ceremony of the US$4 billion platinum mine in Darwendale, Mashonaland West Province.
The Great Dyke platinum investment project, which is one of the biggest investments in the country since 1980, is poised to be jump-started by the visit, with renewed commitment made on the deal.
Mr Lavrov’s visit comes at a time when Government has opened doors for investors to explore opportunities here.
Zimbabwe is endowed with minerals ranging from platinum to diamonds, lithium, coal, gold, asbestos and tin.
In 2008, Russia and China vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution sponsored by Britain and the United States seeking to impose punitive sanctions on Zimbabwe.