S Africa’s President Ramaphosa blames NATO for Russia-Ukraine crisis

The President of South Africa‘ Cyril Ramaphosa’ has blamed NATO for the ongoing war in Ukraine and stated that “he will oppose calls to condemn Russia, in comments that cast doubt over whether Ukraine or the West would accept him as a negotiator.

While speaking in Thursday parliament, Ramapghosa stated, “The war can easily be avoided if NATO had heeded their warnings from amongst its leaders and officials over the years that its eastward growth would lead to greater, not less, fluctuation in the region.”

Furthermore, he added that South Africa “cannot give them a favour of their force and also not going to violate any international law”, an apparent reference to Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

However, President Vladimir Putin‘ has portrayed Russia’s actions as a “special operation” to demilitarise and “denazify” Ukraine and counter NATO aggression.

Moreover, Kyiv and Western allies believe Russia launched the unnecessary war to dominate a neighbour Putin calls an artificial state.

Then Ramaphosa revealed that Putin had assured him personally that their negotiations made some progress after that. The South African leader stated that he did not talk with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’ yet, but he wanted to.

On Friday, Ramphosa stated that they had been asked to interfere in the Russia-Ukraine war/conflict. However, he did not mention who asked him to interfere.

“There are many who insist us that we should take a very adversarial stance against Russia,” added Ramaphosa. “The approach we are finally going to take instead is insisting that there should be a dialogue.”

Ramaphosa’s African National Congress party, which has governed South Africa since white juvenile rule ended in 1994, had strong relations with the former Soviet Union, which trained and supported anti-apartheid activists during the Cold War.

For that reason, South Africa is sometimes observed with suspicion among Russia’s rivals in the West. However, it has enjoyed a high level of diplomatic power relative to its economic size since its peaceful transition to democracy.