Zim, Russia vow to strengthen ties, defeat sanctions President Mnangagwa receives a consignment of wheat and fertiliser from the Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe Mr Nikolai Vladimirovich Krasilnikov at the Grain Marketing Board’s Aspindale depot in Harare, yesterday. Flanking him are Vice Presidents Dr Constantino Chiwenga (right) and Kembo Mohadi (second from left) and Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka. — Picture: Believe Nyakudjara.

Mukudzei Chingwere-Herald Reporter

PRESIDENT Mnangagwa has said Zimbabwe is realising the fruits of its relations with Russia, a global powerhouse in maize, wheat and fertiliser production which  significantly contributes to world food security. 

He was speaking in Harare yesterday after receiving a consignment of 25 000 tonnes of wheat and 23 000 tonnes fertiliser donated to Zimbabwe by the super power.

President Mnangagwa eulogised the Zimbabwe/Russia relations which he said dated back to the days of the liberation struggle, and now had matured to economic cooperation as informed by Zimbabwe’s economic diplomacy policy.

Zimbabwe and Russia had a lot in common as they were both under illegal economic sanctions imposed by the US and its allies.

President Mnangagwa said it was important for more areas of collaboration to be nurtured as the two countries and the rest of the progressive world sought  to create a new world economic order against the status quo which was skewed to benefit a few countries and subjugate those perceived as foes.

“On behalf of the people and Government of Zimbabwe, and on my own behalf, I express my deep gratitude to my dear brother, the President of the Russian Federation, His Excellency, Vladimir Putin for the generous and timely donation.

“Allow me, by the same token, to take this opportunity to heartily congratulate, His Excellency, President Putin for his resounding victory in the just-ended elections.

“Zimbabwe and Russia’s bond of friendship dates back to the days of the liberation struggle, where 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,” said the President.

“We welcome Russia’s continued support in our ongoing efforts to consolidate and strengthen our agriculture sector towards building greater resilience for climate change adaptation and guaranteeing sustained national food security,” said the President.

Zimbabwe looked forward to broadening the scope of partnerships with Russia to develop irrigation capacity and to modernise the local agriculture sector.

“We stand ready to leverage our collective expertise and resources to implement best practices to achieve the sustainable growth of agriculture productivity and agriculture value chains.

“As such, the strong bilateral  relations between Zimbabwe and Russia must continue to result in multi-faceted benefits, extending beyond food security to knowledge exchange, technology transfer and capacity building.

“Collaborative research, innovation and development as well as the use of smart agriculture technologies must drive efforts towards the introduction of new and improved agricultural practices.”

Improved seed varieties and robust agronomy skills to boost productivity and resilience in the face of climate change and other challenges, were equally critical.

Plans were underway to increase capacity for the growth of the fertliser industry in Zimbabwe.

“We are ready to foster greater collaboration, partnerships and welcome new investments from the Russian Federation in this area.

“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,” said President Mnangagwa.

He assured Russia of Zimbabwe’s continued friendship and solidarity anchored, not only on the long-standing past, but also in common desire for an independent, prosperous and peaceful future for the two peoples.

President Mnangagwa wished the people of the Russian Federation unity and great success in the midst of the onslaught of detractors.

The Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Nikolai Vladimirovich Krasilnikov said yesterday’s event highlighted the excellent bilateral relations between the two countries and demonstrated the great potential of the multilateral joint efforts.

“It is a commitment made by Russia to continue to support states and regions in need, to do its utmost to prevent a global food crisis through participation in establishing a more equitable system for the distribution of resources.

“Let us not forget that food security cannot be achieved without fertilisers, as they ensure the growth, resilience and productivity of agricultural crops.

“Hopefully, the fruits of such joint efforts will soon be seen–first in the fields and then on the plates of many people, including the people of Zimbabwe.”

Ambassador Krasilnikov said the re-election of President Putin to the helm of the Russian Federation was a guarantee of his country’s commitment to enhancing the cooperation with Zimbabwe not only in agriculture but in other socio-economic spheres as well.

“Russia’s Government and business are sincerely interested in further deepening trade, investment and humanitarian ties with Zimbabwe, and that meets the aspirations of our people and promotes stable growth and prosperity in Russia, in Zimbabwe, in Africa and all over the World.” 

In his remarks, Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Minister Dr Anxious Masuka thanked the Russians for adding wheat to the country’s strategic reserves.

He said the fertiliser would go a long way in boosting yields in the upcoming winter season.

“As of today Your Excellency, we have 450 000 tonnes of cereals in our GMB strategic grain reserve. What we have received today will add to our reserves,” said Minister Masuka.

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