Mon 23 January 2023:
Naledi Pandor, minister of international relations for South Africa, reaffirmed her country’s support for a negotiated peace agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine.
Pandor met with Sergey Lavrov, the country’s foreign minister, on Monday in Pretoria.
Pandor said South Africa’s position remains that diplomacy is the best route to ending the conflict – the impact of which is being felt globally.
South Africa has consistently maintained a neutral position over the war in Ukraine.
Welcoming Lavrov to her office, Pandor made it clear that South Africa supports the diplomatic route.
“Our sincere wish is that the conflict currently between Russia and Ukraine will soon be brought to a peaceful end through diplomacy and negotiation as we believe this is the desire of all of us around the globe.”
Meanwhile, Pandor’s Russian counterpart put the blame for a lack of negotiation on Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for, in his view, reneging on the Turkey talks last March.
“In September, President Zelensky signed a decree prohibiting all Ukrainian officials to negotiate on anything with the Russian Federation. So I believe it’s obvious as to the origin of the problem of the lack of negotiations.”
Meanwhile, the South African Ministry of Defence announced today that it will host Russia and China for naval military exercises that will be carried out in KwaZulu-Natal in February.
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