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Friday, 14 June 2013 14:01

Zimbabwe: Russia On the Ascendancy

Russian_flagZIMBABWE, June 14, 2013 (The Herald) -- It has been 23 years since the first Congress of People's Deputies of back then USSR adopted the Declaration on State Sovereignty of Russia on June 12, 1990. A year later, on June 12, 1991, Russia had the first in its history nationwide direct presidential elections. Since then, this day is celebrated in Russia as the national day of the country Day of Russia.

The Declaration of State Sovereignty proclaimed equal opportunities for all citizens, political parties and public organisations, the principle of separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

The adoption of the state's new name -- the Russian Federation (Russia), the new Constitution that reflects new political realities, the national flag, anthem and coat of arms of Russia became important steps in strengthening the Russian statehood.

The country has walked a long way since those days to become today a modern democratic state with a well-developed economy, a key player in international politics.

The past few years have been a challenging period for the whole international community.

The problems of the financial crisis in 2008 generated many problems that remain unresolved to this day.

Russia has successfully overcome the most difficult period of economic turmoil and returned to pre-crisis indicators.

The economy is growing rapidly: by 4 percent per year, which exceeds the recovery rate in most leading economies.

Russia's sovereign debt remains at a minimum.

Today the country achieved the highest level of funding for research and development since the Soviet times, built an efficient system of development institutions and gradually decreased the energy intensity of the Russian economy.

Modern Russia has the highest life expectancy in its history.

It has increased by almost three years since 2006 and has reached just under 69 years.

Russia's foreign policy has become more modern, working for the national modernisation goals.

Common Economic Space for Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan was launched on January 1, 2012, and the free movement of goods will be followed by the free movement of services, capital and labour.

The aim is to create the Eurasian Economic Union by 2015, which will largely determine the future of these economies.

After 18 years of negotiations Russia has acceded to the WTO.

The negotiations marathon ended on terms that fully correspond to Russia's interest.

WTO accession is a significant factor in Russia's integration into the global economy. It meets both national interests and the objectives of stabilising the international trading system.

One of the most important breakthroughs in the field of international security in the recent years is the conclusion of a new Russian-US Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.

It works directly on strengthening strategic stability and non-proliferation.

Russia is interested in finding mutually acceptable solutions to all crucial outstanding issues on the international agenda. Thus, one of the constant priorities remains overcoming the effects of the global crisis.

It is our shared priority.

It remains extremely important to fully implement the decisions made by the G20 concerning the stabilisation of the financial situation of a number of leading countries and international financial system reform.

In recent years, the leadership of Russia called for establishing international mechanism to prevent and eliminate the effects of disasters on the sea shelf, strengthening the international regime governing nuclear safety, the establishment of a new legal framework for energy security, the fight against piracy at sea.

Russia is looking forward to working with its international partners to implement these proposals.

Some of them have already been discussed in the G8 format, others in a broader one.

The events of the past few years have demonstrated the relevance of Russia's role as mediator in solving serious regional problems using political and diplomatic means without foreign interference or the use of force and, of course, under the auspices of the United Nations.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov has touched upon Russia-African Union relations in his recent live interview with the Voice of Russia, Radio of Russia and the Echo of Moscow radio stations. He positively assessed the prospects of co-operation as now Russia is actively involved in UN peacekeeping operations in the region and provides peacekeepers with training and supplies.

Acting on its obligations as a reliable partner of Africa, Russia is donating cash to the African Union to fund its peacekeeping operations in West African countries and Somalia.

Moscow has also established ongoing relations with the African Union and has its permanent envoy to the organisation in Addis Ababa.

However, Lavrov stated that bilateral co-operation has a greater potential as Russia's trade turnover with African countries south of the Sahara is worth some US$4 billion while China enjoys a US$120 billion turnover. -- Russian Embassy in Harare.



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