President Cyril Ramaphosa defended South Africa’s decision to abstain from a United Nations resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, after drawing US and European Union criticism over its stance.
South Africa was among 35 countries that abstained from the March 2 vote criticising Russia. After the vote, the US ambassador called on South Africa to take sides in the conflict, arguing its neutrality may be interpreted as an endorsement of Russia’s actions.
The South African delegation at the UN abstained because the resolution didn’t contain enough emphasis on dialogue as a means to resolve the crisis, Ramaphosa said.
“There have been some who have said that in abstaining from the vote condemning Russia’s military operation in Ukraine, South Africa has placed itself on the wrong side of history,” he said. “Yet, South Africa is firmly on the side of peace at a time when another war is something the world does not need, nor can it afford. The results of these hostilities will be felt globally and for many years to come.”