Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWE and Russia today mark 40th Anniversary of diplomatic relationship and solidarity with their history dating back to country’s liberation struggle for independence during which Russia, which was then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), played a critical role.
Over the years, the cooperation between the two countries has grown both in strength and scope with Russia continuing to provide annual scholarships to Zimbabweans to train in a wide range field of academic and professional endeavour.
The two countries have also concluded several development instrumental instruments that include the Zimbabwe-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Economic Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation.
In a statement, the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Professor Amon Murwira said beyond their natural boundaries, Zimbabwe and Russia continue to enjoy each other’s support at various fora, including the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement among other continental and regional bodies, in pursuit of a shared vision of a just and peaceful world order in light of the increasing threat to global peace and security.
“The time-tested relationship between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation whose longevity is being celebrated today, has again been manifested in the Government and the people of the Russian Federation’s assistance to Zimbabwe since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, through the provision of much needed equipment and lifesaving vaccines to help in the fight against the devastating global scourge,” he said.
Russia has developed the Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19. According to data published in one of the world’s leading medical journals, Sputnik V vaccine is 91,6 percent effective against symptomatic Covid.19.
Prof Murwira said Zimbabwe’s independence cannot be complete and fully comprehended without mentioning the critical role and sacrifice of the Russian people.
“The date 18 February 2021 marks the 40th Anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation. The history of the two countries pre-date Zimbabwe’s struggle for independence during which the Russian Federation played a pivotal role by providing moral, diplomatic and material support for the struggle that eventually gave birth to a new Zimbabwe in April 1980,” he said
“This underpins the two countries’ decades-old cooperative partnership which in recent times has seen the opening up of new frontiers of possible cooperation in various sectors, including energy, science and technology development, and mining, the latter in which are flagship projects that are on stream in the fields of platinum and diamond extraction.”
Prof Murwira said it was therefore only fitting that Russia became one of the world’s great nations to establish diplomatic missions in Zimbabwe upon independence, signifying the culmination of an enduring relationship between the two countries.
“May the relationship of cooperation between the Republic of Zimbabwe and the Russian Federation continue to endure well beyond these auspicious celebrations of the 40 Anniversary o the establishment of diplomatic relations between of two countries,” he said.