A 48-member delegation of Russian business people and journalists was in Zimbabwe for a week to explore business opportunities, it was reported at the weekend.
The visit comes after unconfirmed reports last week that Air Zimbabwe was to replace its ageing fleet of three Boeing aircraft, possibly with planes from Russia.
Russian Ambassador to Zimbabwe Oleg Scherbak said the delegation on a week-long visit was keen to explore investment opportunities in the country. "These investors have various business interests ranging from transport, power and mining to tourism, telecommunications and agriculture," he said.
"The Russian journalists will meet local journalists from various media houses and will have an opportunity to share and exchange ideas. They will also have an opportunity to move around the country and establish the truth behind the negative publicity that Zimbabwe is currently receiving from some Western countries," said Scherbak.
He said another purpose of the visit was to select local journalists who would engage in similar programs in Russia.
"So far, over 32 local journalists have forwarded their applications, but we will only consider eight for selection. We will also look for local journalists who will further their studies in Russia and this will help to strengthen ties between the two countries," he said.
Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe public relations manager Kumbirai Nhongo said Zimbabwe would gain from the Russians' expertise and experience.
People in the West may not know about it, but there are many Africans who attended communist universities in the days before the fall of the USSR...so there is a long Russian influence there