South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has had a private discussion with Russia’s President Putin concerning the Russian attack of Ukraine. In a tweet, Ramaphosa said: “Thanking His Excellency President Vladimir Putin for taking my call today, so I could gain an understanding of the situation that was unfolding between Russia and Ukraine.”
President Ramaphosa says South Africa has been approached to play a “mediation role” in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The SA President had a phone call with Putin on Thursday afternoon.
According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, at least 2.3 million Ukrainians have been forced to flee their country since a violent invasion by Russia commenced two weeks ago, with hundreds of civilians and military officials left dead by the military offensive.
President Ramaphosa says: “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.
“President Putin appreciated our balanced approach. We believe this position enables both parties to subject the conflict to mediation and negotiation. Based on our relations with the Russian Federation and as member of BRICS, South Africa has been approached to play a mediation role,” President Ramaphosa said.
In a statement, the Russian government said the Presidents will keep communication lines open between the two countries.
“At the request of [President] Cyril Ramaphosa, the President of Russia spoke about the reasons for and goals of the special military operation to protect Donbass.
“He also informed the South African leader about the situation regarding talks with representatives of the Ukrainian authorities. The President of South Africa supported the ongoing political and diplomatic efforts,” the statement said. – SAnews.gov.za