Ramaphosa deploys envoys to explain SA’s Russia stance

By Paul Richardson

South Africa’s president will send four of his cabinet ministers to Group of Seven nations to explain the country’s non-aligned position on Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The South African government has refused to back sides in the conflict and abstained from several United Nations votes condemning Russia’s actions, angering key trading partners including the US. The stance was called into question earlier this month when American Ambassador Reuben Brigety accused South Africa of supplying weapons to Russia.

While President Cyril Ramaphosa has denied the allegation, the diplomatic furor that ensued sparked fears that trade worth billions of dollars with countries including the US could be placed at risk and the rand fell to a record low against the dollar. Finance Minister Enoch Godongwana, International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor and two other cabinet members will be deployed to explain the country’s commitment to the non-aligned position, he said.

“We will continue to maintain an independent foreign policy and will use our presence in international forums to promote dialog and the peaceful resolution of conflict,” he told lawmakers on Wednesday. “As we work to strengthen ties of trade and investment, we also seek to build support for a more inclusive, representative and equitable world order.”

Read more:

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P.