Zimbabwe, Russia denounce Western sanctions

Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwean President, and Sergei Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister who was on a visit to Zimbabwe on Tuesday condemned the West-led sanctions on the two countries as the leaders launched a $4billion joint platinum mine venture that is to become the largest in Zimbabwe.

 Speaking at a joint press briefing after their meeting at Mugabe’s birthplace in Kutama, Zvimba area, the Zimbabwean leader deplored the Western sanctions as “illegal” saying that they lack the endorsement of the United Nations.

 “They are the works of evil men of our world, who act in defiance of international law,” Mugabe said.

 Zimbabwean politicians 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 are also banned from doing businesses with American companies. In similar vein Russian politicians, and companies, mostly defense technology firms, were targeted for similar sanctions starting this year as the West accused Russia of escalating the crisis in Ukraine.

 Lavrov said both Zimbabwe and Russia strongly support the respect for international law, the respect for principles of the UN charter, the right of a people to decide their own destiny, to resolve disputes without any unilateral acts, in particular, aggressive sanctions which Russia and Zimbabwe have both experienced.

 “What is important is this, to recognize the pluralism in the international community the emergence of new big players including the African continent whose interest and whose voice must be taken into account in the world politics,” he said.

 Lavrov promised Russia will always be with Africa while Mugabe, in return, 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.

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