President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine and said he would resist calls to condemn Russia and call for negotiations instead.
“The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region,” Ramaphosa said, a view also maintained by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ramaphosa also revealed that Putin had assured him personally that negotiations were making progress. The South African leader said he had not yet talked with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
On Friday, Ramaphosa’s office said South Africa had been asked to mediate in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and that he had told Putin it should be settled through negotiations. He did not say who had asked him to intervene.
“There are those who are insisting that we should take a very adversarial stance against Russia. The approach we are going to take (instead) is insisting that there should be dialogue,” Ramaphosa added.
In what was a clear swipe at President of the United States, Joe Biden who recently called Putin a “war criminal” and several other western leaders, Ramaphosa said
“Screaming and shouting is not going to bring an end to this conflict. Sanctions don’t end conflicts”