Home » Governance » Kasukuwere Angers Ukraine With Crimea Trip

ENVIRONMENT minister Saviour Kasukuwere has sparked an angry response from Ukraine after visiting the Crimea region which was annexed in March by Russia triggering an international dispute between Moscow and the West.

Russia and the pro-Moscow administration in Crimea were subsequently slapped with sanctions by the West which targeted both individuals and corporations.

Reports from Kiev Monday said Kasukuwere last week travelled to the region to offer aice on how to deal with sanctions, a subject the Harare administration would be very familiar with after being hit with similar measures by the West more than a decade ago.

Zimbabwe was one of just eleven of the 193 UN General Assembly members that supported the referendum in March on whether to recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Other nations which supported the annexation include North Korea, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela and Cuba.

Kasukuwere becomes the first foreign government official to visit the peninsula since the crisis started.

The Kiev administration warned Zimbabwe of grave consequences.

“Ukraine considers this step as ignoring the Zimbabwean side of the current Ukrainian law, the norms of international law, the UN Charter and the decisions of the UN General Assembly the Territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the government said in a statement.

“This may have negative consequences for the subsequent development of Ukrainian-Zimbabwean relations.”

Harare is keen to curry favour with Russia as the government looks for financial support and investment to help stem the country’s economic slide.

Zimbabwe has looked to China, and now Russia, for support since the West imposed sanctions against Harare, angered by President Robert Mugabe’s controversial land reforms as well as allegations of rights abuses and electoral fraud.

Russia’s foreign minister Sergey Lavrov recently visited Harare for meetings with President Mugabe during which a deal was sealed for the development of a US$3 billion platinum mine.

Source : New Zimbabwe