September 16, 2014
ZVIMBA, Zimbabwe,Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday held talks with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and condemned the West-led sanctions on the two countries.
In a press briefing after the meet, Mugabe described the Western sanctions illegal as they lack the endorsement from the United Nations.
Zimbabwean politicians, Mugabe himself included, are on the travel ban lists of the European Union and the United States since the early 2000s over alleged human rights abuses. Zimbabwean state companies controlled by the ruling elite are also banned from doing businesses with American companies.
Russian politicians and companies, especially defense technology firms, were targeted for similar sanctions starting this year as the West accused Russia of escalating the crisis in Ukraine.
Mugabe said these sanctions are created by some “lawless” parts of the international community with ambitions to “dominate the world.”
He reiterated Zimbabwe’s support for Russia on international affairs and vowed to fight sanctions by deepening bilateral political and economic cooperation with countries like Russia and China.
Lavrov arrived in Harare early morning Tuesday for a two-day visit after attending the international conference on Iraq in Paris.
Lavrov on Tuesday also witnessed the launch of a Zimbabwean- Russian joint venture which is to become the southern African country’s largest platinum miner once the project completes.
The joint venture, which includes Russian defense tech conglomerate Rostec and Russian development bank VEB among others, is investing 1 billion U.S. dollars to develop the Darwendale platinum mine, 70 km from Harare, with a projected output of 600, 000 ounces a year.
The figure is more than double of Zimbabwe’s current annual platinum output of 240,000 ounces, about 6 percent of the world’s total. Zimbabwe holds the world’s second largest platinum reserves after South Africa.