South African President Takes Sides with Russia

Cyril Ramaphosa, the current South African president, criticized NATO for the conflict in Ukraine.

He said he’d reject demands to condemn Russia, statements that raised questions about if he could be viewed as an intermediary by either the West or Ukraine.

During a question and answer session in parliament, Ramaphosa said “the conflict might have been prevented if NATO listened to warnings from within its own ranks over the decades that its expansionism would lead to more, not less, unrest in the area.”

However, he went on to say South Africa “cannot support the use of force and the breach of international law,” an obvious allusion to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

The license of Russian-backed television broadcaster RT has been revoked by the United Kingdom’s media regulator.

President of South Africa Hasn’t Talked to Zelesnkyy Yet

Ramaphosa also claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin directly told him conversations were progressing.

The president of South Africa said he had not yet spoken with the president of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, and he wished to do so.

On Friday, Ramaphosa stated South Africa has been invited to arbitrate in the dispute between Russia and Ukraine. He didn’t explain who approached him and requested him to intercede.

Since white minority rule in South Africa ended in 1994, the African National Congress Party of Ramaphosa maintained close connections with the former Soviet Union.

This provided anti-apartheid militants with training and assistance throughout the Cold War.

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That is why South Africa is frequently regarded with distrust by Russia’s western adversaries.

This comes despite the fact it retained a high degree of diplomatic power compared to its economic strength since achieving peaceful democratic transition in 1994.

“Some are even contacting us on a role that we (South Africa) can play in (mediation),” Ramaphosa said on Thursday, referring to the country’s long-standing unwillingness to take sides.

“We don’t want to pretend we have the kind of power that other nations have. We’re being pushed in this regard. (To) condemn one (side) eliminates the possibility of our playing a part,” he went on to say.

According to Erdogan’s office, during a phone conversation with his Russian colleague Vladimir Putin on Thursday, the Turkish president agreed to host him and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for discussions.

According to the statement, Erdogan warned Putin that reaching an agreement on some matters may need a meeting between both the two presidents.

Erdogan also said a long-term truce might pave the door for a long-term settlement, according to the report.

According to Oleksiy Arestovych, a presidential advisor, Zelensky really hasn’t changed his opinion on the need for Ukraine’s international boundaries to be acknowledged as they were when the Soviet Union fell in 1991.

In an interview with national television, Arestovych said “his fundamental viewpoint has not changed.”

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