President Cyril Ramaphosa said South Africa had been approached to play a “mediation role” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The president had a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday afternoon.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, at least 2.3 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country since the start of a violent invasion by Russia two weeks ago, with hundreds of civilians and military officials killed by the military offensive.
“I have set out 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 necessary – with the assistance of agencies that can help to find a solution to the conflict.
“President Putin appreciated our balanced approach. We believe that this position allows both parties to submit the conflict to mediation and negotiation. Based on our relationship with the Russian Federation and as a member of BRICS, South Africa has been approached to play a mediating role,” President Ramaphosa said.
In a statement, the Russian government said the presidents would keep lines of communication open between the two countries.
“For request of [President] Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of Russia, spoke about the reasons and objectives of the special military operation to protect Donbass.
“He also briefed the South African leader on the situation regarding the talks with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities. The South African President supported ongoing political and diplomatic efforts,” the statement read. – SAnews.gov.za
South Africa tipped to mediate in Russian-Ukrainian conflict
SourceSouth Africa tipped to mediate in Russian-Ukrainian conflict