22 March 2018

Namibia Congratulates Putin On His Victory

Windhoek — The Deputy Prime Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah has congratulated President Vladimir Putin on winning the Russian presidential election with over 75 percent of the vote, joining China that was the first world power to congratulate him on the resounding victory, which grants him a six-year mandate.

China said it would take its relationship with Putin to "a higher level".

US President Donald Trump congratulated Putin on Tuesday on his re-election, and the leaders raised the prospect of a summit in the near future while sidestepping alleged Russian meddling in the American election.

"I had a call with President Putin and congratulated him on his electoral victory," said the American leader.

Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad also congratulated his Russian counterpart, saying his victory was a result of his "outstanding performance", while French President Emmanuel Macron wished Putin success after his re-election.

Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi also extended his goodwill.

Russia held its presidential election on Sunday, and with the outcome Putin will lead Russia for another six years, after securing over 76 percent of the vote.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said it is good the same administration remains in power as this will make it easier for the continuation of existing programmes, while enabling the two countries (Namibia and Russia) to strengthen existing bilateral ties in the various fields of cooperation, such as trade and investment, mining and tourism.

"We would like to congratulate President Putin and his party for winning the presidential election with over 70 percent. This is another responsibility placed on his shoulders by the Russian people and we are positive he will carry this responsibility as per people's expectations," said Nandi-Ndaitwah, who also serves as Namibia's minister for international relations and cooperation.

She said Namibia believes that with the same government Russia will continue to play a pivotal role on the international front and at multilateral level as a member of the United Nations Security Council, where it has veto powers.

Furthermore, Nandi-Ndaitwah expressed satisfaction with the steady development of the trust-based Russian-Namibian political dialogue and highlighted their mutual intention to strengthen cooperation on the international stage, aimed at maintaining global and regional stability.

"Our bilateral relations have grown from strength to strength and diplomatic and political consultations have been held regularly on the fringes of major multilateral settings," said the international relations minister.

Nandi-Ndaitwah said as per the outcome of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's recent visit to Namibia, the two countries have agreed to strengthen their mutually beneficial relations in trade, as well as the economy, investment, culture and other areas of mutual cooperation.

She exapressed concern over sanctions against Russia by Europeans, supported by the Americans, as among challenges facing the two countries to implement some of the bilateral relations, especially on economic cooperation.

"Nevertheless, we will continue to work together and see how best we can strengthen our political and economic relations," she said.

She indicated that Russia has also shown interest in the mining and tourism sectors.

She said the number of Russian tourists in Namibia has increased, especially trophy hunters.

However, Nandi-Ndaitwah said a lot still needs to be done to ensure there is a trade balance between the two countries.

Russia was among the countries that stood firm and supported the then liberation movement Swapo in its fight against the white minority South African regime that illegally ruled Namibia.

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