Russia signs platinum deal with Zimbabwe

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has signed economic and cooperation deals in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe is in “desperate need of investment,” Thea Fourie, an analyst at IHS Global Insight in Johannesburg, told Bloomberg in an e-mailed statement. Mugabe “has reached out to partners such as China and Russia to fill the gap,” according to Fourie.

Trade bans and economic embargoes were placed on Mugabe and senior members of his ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party in 2002 by the US, the EU, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Lavrov signed a $3 billion investment deal with Mugabe that will allow Russian firms to help develop Zimbabwe’s platinum resources.

The Russian foreign minister said it’s important to recognize pluralism in the international community, as well as “the emergence of new, big players, including the African continent, whose interests and voices must be taken into account in world politics.”

The project is the largest single foreign investment in Zimbabwe since it gained independence in 1980.

Mugabe, 90, met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at his rural home in Kutama Village, 130 kilometers north of the capital Harare.

Mugabe said international sanctions have to be approved by the UN.