Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko arrived in Harare on Monday to talk with his Zimbabwean counterpart, President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The two countries have a special relationship, both are targeted by diplomatic sanctions imposed by the European Union and the United States.

“The West is determined to sanction and isolate our two countries but they will not succeed because the development strategies put in place by our two countries are to ensure that we are self-sufficient,” defends Godwills Masimirembwa, president of Zanu PF for Harare province.

Lukashenko’s trip follows a visit by Emmerson Mnangagwa to Minsk in 2019, after which Belarus opened an embassy in Harare.

“We consider this visit to be essential for Zimbabwe as it will contribute to the country’s development process and, in doing so, to the destruction of the illegal economic sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West.” Adds Godwills Masimirembwa.

The Zimbabwean Foreign Ministry said the three-day visit was aimed at strengthening existing relations between the two countries in the fields of politics, agriculture, armaments, and mining.