No new Zim sanctions over Russia ties, says US

2014-10-07 21:46
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Cape Town – The United States has reportedly denied claims by Zimbabwe's state-owned media that Washington threatened to slap the country with more sanctions over its economic ties with Russia.

Zimbabwe and Russia last month launched a $3bn platinum mining project, which is set to boost the southern African country's dwindling economy.

The Sunday Mail reported at the weekend that Washington sought to sabotage the deal as part of its sanctions on Harare and Moscow.

The West imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe in 2002 over concerns about electoral fraud and human rights abuses.

Russia, on the other hand, has also been targeted with sanctions by western countries over its alleged involvement in strife-torn neighbouring Ukraine.

'Illegal sanctions'

President Robert Mugabe recently voiced his support for Russia, describing Western sanctions against Moscow as "illegal".

"If sanctions are to apply they must be approved by the UN and those that are being imposed on the Russian Federation have not.... They are illegal sanctions," an AFP report quoted the 90-year-old veteran leader saying.

A Zimbabwean foreign affairs official told The Sunday Mail that the US had warned that if Zimbabwe maintained its relations with Russia, it would put itself under sanctions.

But according to New, the US refuted the report, saying there was no truth to the allegations.

Embassy spokesperson, Karen Kelley, said there was no link between sanctions Washington imposed on Russia and those the country placed on Mugabe and his cronies.

"All US sanctions frameworks are separate and distinct," Kelley was quoted as saying.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  us  |  russia  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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