South Africa reaffirms wish for Ukraine conflict to be resolved through diplomacy
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in South Africa on Monday for bilateral talks with his counterpart Naledi Pandor.
In opening remarks before the start of their meeting in Pretoria, Pandor hailed South Africa’s good relations with Russia in fields ranging from trade to defense and security.
South Africa sincerely wishes that the conflict between Russia-Ukraine will be brought to an end through diplomacy and negotiation, she said.
South Africa, a member of BRICS, along with Russia, Brazil, India, and China, has taken a neutral stance on the Ukraine war, drawing criticism from some Western countries. It has also abstained from voting on the issue at the UN.
Lavrov appreciated South Africa’s position on the conflict. He said Moscow was initially in favor of negotiations but Ukraine’s Western allies impeded the process.
Days before Lavrov’s arrival, South Africa announced it will hold joint naval exercises with Russia and China next month off its eastern coast.
Lavrov and Pandor are expected to discuss a range of issues and will later hold a news briefing.