By UK Bureau
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa is expected to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow this Tuesday, the Kremlin press service has confirmed.
“During the negotiations with President Mnangagwa, who is currently on official visit to Moscow, the leaders will discuss the further development of relations between Russia and Zimbabwe as well as pressing international and regional issues,” the press service told journalists.
Mnangagwa is in Moscow for a three-day State visit during which he will look to drum up support for his embattled administration.
The Zimbabwean leader said talks with Putin will focus on strengthening defence and economic cooperation between the two countries.
He received a boost after global diamond giant Alrosa confirmed its return to Zimbabwe two years after quitting the country.
“I have no doubt (when) I meet my counterpart President Putin, I hope that he is going to accept my invitation that we have the expertise here in the Russian Federation to come and partner with Zimbabwe in the development and exploitation of our industry. We believe we can make a significant contribution to the world diamond industry,” Mnangagwa told Zimbabwean journalists travelling with him.
He added; “(Economic co-operation) is the principal reason why I am here with my delegation.
“The composition of my delegation will tell you a story: I have the Minister of Mines, I have the Minister of Agriculture, I have the Governor of the Reserve Bank and I have the Minister of Finance.
“All these people are economic ministers, which tells you the story that we have come here to promote economic co-operation with the Russian Federation.”
From Russian Mnangagwa will travel to Kazakhstan, Belarus, Azerbaijan before winding up the trip in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum.
The foreign travel has been criticised by opponents back home as Harare and Bulawayo were rocked by protests against a fuel price hike Mnangagwa announced on Saturday.
The government deployed the military to help police disperse the protestors with some 13 people reportedly injured around the country.