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Ukraine – Russia. South African President’s peacekeeping mission, opposition comments: waste of time and money

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South African opposition parties have described South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent “peacekeeping mission” to Russia and Ukraine as a waste of time and money. According to the analyst of the Ukrainian portal ZN.ua, Volodymyr Kravchenko, Ramaphosa’s mission had little chance of success from the very beginning.

According to one of the leaders of the Democratic Alliance (DA), John Steenhuisen, the president went to both countries at the wrong time, when both Russiaand Ukraine declared that they would continue to fight.

The Democratic Alliance announced that it would submit a series of questions to the parliament to determine the total costs of the president’s trip.

Steenhuisen also assessed that the president brought South Africa “disgrace” on a global scale during his mission. In his opinion, the Ramaphosa administration showed “absolute incompetence” by sending a whole plane of bodyguards, journalists and unagreed weapons with the president, which was not allowed to enter either Poland or Ukraine.

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa during a meeting with Vladimir PutinRAMIL SITDIKOV/PAP/EPA

Meanwhile, Rise Mzansi party leader Songezo Zibi said the president’s “peacekeeping mission” was a “complete fiasco”. According to him, it was an “expensive, chaotic and ill-considered” publicity venture that did nothing for South Africa and its 60 million inhabitants.

Ramaphosa on Friday and Saturday participated in a “peace mission” to Ukraine and Russia, involving South Africa, Zambia, Comoros, Congo, EgyptSenegal i Uganda.

Kravchenko: South Africa’s mission had little chance of success

According to the analyst of the Ukrainian portal ZN.ua, Volodymyr Kravchenko, Ramaphosa’s mission had little chance of success from the very beginning, as neither Russia nor Ukraine had achieved their military and political goals at the time it was carried out.

Kravchenko considers it positive that the position of African countries presented by Ramaphosa included an appeal for humanitarian aid for war victims, the exchange of prisoners and the return of abducted children.

Among the disadvantages, however, he mentioned the lack of a direct mention of the principle of territorial integrity, the payment of war reparations by Russia and the holding of those responsible to account. Kiev’s key demand – the withdrawal of Russian forces – was not mentioned either.

South Africa is an important partner of Russia on the international arena and together with it has formed the BRICS group since 2011: South Africa, Russia, India, China and Brazil. In February 2023, almost on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine, the South African Navy took part in joint naval exercises with Russia and China.

Main photo source: RAMIL SITDIKOV/PAP/EPA

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