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The Russian Government is committed to the promotion of trade and investment in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa(COMESA) regional grouping to enhance cooperation.
Russian Ambassador to Zambia Konstantin Kozhanov said his government was interested in translating its interest in upgrading the quality of cooperation with COMESA.
Mr Kozhanov, who was speaking in Lusaka when he presented his credentials to Comesa said,  the  intiatives include quick preparations in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with COMESA.
“The MoU will  equip us with effective legal basis that  will pave way for the conclusion of specific sectorial agreements between COMESA and the Russian competent bodies, organisations and business structures,” Mr Kozhanov said.
The Russian Federation hopes that the MoU would be signed later this year during the eventual visit to the Southern African region by that country’s Foreign Minister and his deputy in charge of African affairs.
Mr Kozhanov said the Russian federation had a lot to propose to COMESA and its member states taking into account the positive changes in the Russian Economy during recent years due to accelerated modernisation.
The MoU expected to be signed this year, was aimed at promoting cooperation, trade and  investments in the Comesa member states.
It will in addition, cover all major fields of cooperation, economy and trade, investments, technical assistance, conflict prevention as well as management.
Speaking at the same function, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said there was need to quickly work on the MoU as it would promote the much-needed cooperation between COMESA and the Russian federation.
Mr Ngwenya  was confident that Russia’s new mandate would contribute to the enhancement of peace, security, and stability in the COMESA region.
“Definitely there is room for closer cooperation between COMESA and Russia, I am confident that your new mandate will contribute to the enhancement of peace, security and stability in the COMESA region.” he said.