Mukudzei Chingwere

Herald Reporter

ZIMBABWE and Russia yesterday confirmed their intention to intensify joint efforts to improve the legal framework of the two countries’ relations and also expressed readiness to sign several bilateral documents.

Co-chairpersons of the Intergovernmental Russian-Zimbabwean Commission on Economic, Trade, Scientific and Technical Cooperation – Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Dr Sibusiso Moyo and Russian Minister of Natural Resources Dmitry Kobylkin – held a video conference.

The two nations discussed preparations and holding of the 4th session of the commission that will be hosted by Harare at a date that will be agreed by both parties.

According to a joint statement, the two countries signed several Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on among other things, cooperation in the platinum group metals, and also in diamond exploration and mining.

A MOU between the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Higher Education, Innovation, Science and Technology on Higher Education Cooperation was also signed.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Higher Education, Innovation, Science and Technology on cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation was also discussed.

“The Zimbabwean party expressed its readiness to send to the Russian party the draft Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Digital Development, Communications and Mass Media of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Information Communication Technology, Postal and Courier Services on sharing of information and the development of ioint ventures in the media.

“The parties noted progress on the Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Russian Federation and Ministry of Environment, Climate, Tourism and Hospitality Industry of the Republic of Zimbabwe on cooperation in Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Management which was signed during the summit Russia-Africa (October 2019, Sochi) and agreed to implement the provisions of the MoU.”

Yesterday’s meeting was held in the wake of the postponement of the fourth meeting slated for next month in Harare between the republics, but was pushed to next year on a date to be announced in compliance with the Covid-19 mitigatory measures put in place to slow the spread of the pandemic.

“It has also provided us with a welcome opportunity to carry out this mid-term review of the progress that we have registered in the implementation of the targets that we agreed on during the third session,” said Dr Moyo.

“The postponement, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, of the fourth session, has in no way weakened our two governments’ resolve to make progress in the implementation of projects and programmes agreed on in the previous session.

“It is my fervent hope that the Covid-19 pandemic will be contained soon, and that we will be able to convene the fourth session of our Intergovernmental Commission in 2021 on dates that will be agreed through Diplomatic Channels,” said Dr Moyo.

The two countries signed deals for cooperation in the areas of mining, agriculture, energy, education, science and technology as well as developing cooperation in the field of the use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes among other pacts.