South Africa’s President Ramaphosa holds talks with Putin on Ukraine war

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Thursday that his country has been asked to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Ramaphosa however did not say who made the request and how the mediation was going to take place.

Russia and Ukraine on the other hand have not yet made any official communication to confirm the mediation process by South Africa.

Ramaphosa said in a tweet that he had wanted to “gain an understanding of the situation that was unfolding between Russia and Ukraine and – if need be – with the help of agencies that can help bring a solution to the conflict.

Russian and South Africa have both had a cordial bilateral relationship that stems from the Soviet Union era when they trained the anti-apartheid activists during the cold war.

South Africa was among the 35 countries that voted to abstain during the recent UN resolution that saw the global body condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

In a statement, the Kremlin said the leaders had exchanged congratulations on the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Russia and South Africa.

The two presidents also “reaffirmed their commitment to further develop the bilateral strategic partnership, noting, in particular, their readiness to expand trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation, as well as joint Covid-19 response efforts”.