15 Jan 2019 21:58

Putin says Moscow ready to contribute to cooperation for benefit of Russian, Zimbabwean nations

MOSCOW. Jan 15 (Interfax) - Russia is ready to help Zimbabwe implement development programs, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"Just recently, you achieved a decisive victory in the election. The people, your nation, are expecting effective work, and we are ready to do the best we can to make cooperation between our countries benefit our peoples, to make it a meaningful, tangible contribution to the fulfillment of those plans and programs that you formulated," Putin said at talks with his Zimbabwean counterpart, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe is Russia's important partner in Africa, Putin said.

"We are very much hoping for cooperation," Mnangagwa said. In the past, when Zimbabwe was fighting for independence, Russia gave it support, in particular, by way of training its soldiers. But then Zimbabwe achieved independence and is now a developing Third World country, he said. "You can lend us a hand as a senior partner to help us develop," Mnangagwa said.

The Zimbabwean president went on to recall that his country is being pressured with sanctions introduced by Western nations. Yet Zimbabwe has tried to facilitate development over the past 20 years, he said.

Russia has remained Zimbabwe's reliable partner in the days of isolation, he said. The Zimbabwean delegation would like to put an emphasis on economic cooperation, Mnangagwa said, adding that the two countries have had longstanding relations in the area of political cooperation.