Zambia and Russia propose to scale up Diplomatics ties
President Edgar Lungu and Russia’s Vladimir Putin held bilateral talks in Johannesburg where they proposed to scale up their countries’ diplomatic ties and move towards enhancing economic relations the even on the BRICS meetings.
President Lungu said Russia was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Zambia but noted that these ties have grown cold over the years.
“We feel that now time has come for us not only to cement these relations but to build up what has been existing,” Mr. Lungu said at the Four Seasons Hotel in Johannesburg where the two leaders held the bilateral talks.
The President said Zambia was looking forward to get assistance from Russia in many areas of economic development particularly in nuclear energy.
He said the country was facing a deficit in energy hence it was considering investing in nuclear power for peaceful purposes.
He stated that he was looking forward to having Mr. Putin visit Zambia in future.
“We have signed Memorandums of Understanding with Russia at home and a few other agencies in Russia. So we look forward for your coming so that you can do the ground breaking for the nuclear research centre,” he said.
President Lungu further said technocrats from both Zambia and Russia have been engaged in how the two countries’ could scale up their cooperation for the benefit of their peoples.
And President Lungu disclosed that Zambia appreciates the role which Russia played in contributing to the liberation of many African countries during the liberation struggle.
He recalled that Zambia particularly benefited in military cooperation when it hosted the liberation movement.
The President said Zambia and Russia should not only cement the existing relations but build on them for enhanced development.
Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the old relations between the two countries should now be translated into economic development.
Mr. Putin said through an interpreter that the visit to Russia by Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini in April this year was a sign that the two countries were collaborating in many areas.
He further said his country was happy that Russia and Zambia have established contacts in various sectors including medicine.
President Lungu was accompanied in the bilateral talks by Minister of Foreign Affairs Joe Malanji, Minister at Presidential Affairs Minister at State House Freedom Sikazwe, Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa, Emmanuel Mwamba and other government officials.
Mr. Lungu was in South Africa to attend the 10th Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) summit outreach dialogue session in Johannesburg.
The BRICS is a grouping of emerging economies. The theme of this year’s BRICS summit is, ‘BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for inclusive growth and shared prosperity in the 4th industrial revolution’.
Zambia had been invited to attend the 10th BRICS summit under the umbrella of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) while other countries such as Ethiopia, Senegal, Uganda, Gabon, Rwanda and Togo are representing different groupings.
President Putin, India’s Narendra Modi, President of China Xi Jinping, President of Brazil Michel Temer and President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa were attending as leaders of countries that make up the BRICS.
Source: Lusaka Times