SA approached to mediate in Russia-Ukraine conflict, says Ramaphosa
Ramaphosa says Putin appreciates South Africa's 'balanced' approach on the conflict.
Presidents Cyril Ramaphosa and Vladimir Putin. Picture: Cyril Ramaphosa/Twitter
This video is no longer available.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says South Africa has been approached to play the mediation role in the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has claimed thousands of civilians’ lives and led to the mass exodus of at least 2.2 million people fleeing Ukraine.
Ramaphosa on Thursday called Russian President Vladimir Putin to “gain an understanding of the situation” between the two countries.
“I outlined our position on the conflict that has unfolded as well as our belief that the conflict should be resolved through mediation and negotiation between the parties and – if need be – with the help of agencies that can help bring a solution to the conflict,” said Ramaphosa in a statement.
“President Putin appreciated our balanced approach. We believe this position enables both parties to subject the conflict to mediation and negotiation.”
He said based on South Africa’s relations with Russia and its membership of Brics, the country has been approached to play a mediation role.
Ramaphosa’s government has been criticised over its stance and refusal to condemn Moscow for the raging conflict.
The country abstained from voting on the Russia-Ukraine conflict at the UN General Assembly on 02 March.
This as the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution that demanded Russia to immediately withdraw from Ukraine.
The resolution was adopted after 141 out of 193 member states voted for the non-binding resolution, while five voted against the resolution.
During a media briefing in Tshwane on Thursday on the outcomes of Cabinet meeting, Cabinet reiterated the South African government’s call for a “negotiated diplomatic solution” to end Russia’s war in Ukraine.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said government urged all parties to uphold and protect human rights.
“Cabinet calls for a negotiated diplomatic solution and urged all parties to uphold and protect human rights, and abide by their obligations in terms of international law and international humanitarian law,” the minister said.
The minister said the war in Ukraine was a conflict “underlined by complex factors” and this informed goverment’s decision not to take sides on the matter.
Additional reporting by Thapelo Lekabe