Go to of the top of Russian diplomacy to South Africa

Russian International Minister Sergey Lavrov traveled to South Africa on Monday to fulfill with considered one of his nation’s most essential allies on an African continent the place international locations are nonetheless divided by the invasion of Ukraine and Western makes an attempt to isolate Moscow.

In Pretoria, Lavrov met his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s authorities considers South Africa impartial within the Ukraine battle and has expressed its need to play a mediating function.

“As South Africans, we always affirm that we’ll all the time be able to assist the peaceable decision of conflicts on the African continent and around the globe.”Pandor stated in her speech, alongside Mr. Lavrov.

South Africa has little commerce with Russia, however Pretoria shares with China and Russia a world view with out US hegemony and as an alternative prefers a “multipolar” world during which geopolitical energy is extra balanced.

Ms. Pandor has repeatedly insisted that South Africa is not going to enable itself to take sides within the Ukraine battle, and has criticized the West for condemning Russia whereas ignoring different points akin to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

South Africa has declared its neutrality on the Ukraine battle and has abstained from voting on UN resolutions whereas sustaining shut ties with Russia, a longtime ally of the African Nationwide Congress (ANC, the ruling occasion). When it was nonetheless a liberation motion against white minority rule throughout apartheid.

South Africa’s army is scheduled to carry joint workouts with Russia and China on its east coast from February 17-27, threatening to escalate tensions with the US and European international locations.

The maneuvers coincide with the primary anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Based on the Russian information company TASS, a Russian warship outfitted with next-generation hypersonic cruise weapons will take part within the train.

Sergey Lavrov’s second African go to comes inside six months earlier than the Russia-Africa summit scheduled for July.