In response to concerns about planned joint military exercises with Russia and China, South Africa’s foreign minister stated on Monday that holding such exercises with “friends” was the “normal path of relations.”
During a meeting with Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, who was in South Africa 11 months after Russia invaded Ukraine, Naledi Pandor delivered her remarks.
On a continent divided over the invasion and Western attempts to isolate Moscow due to its military exercises, South Africa is one of Russia’s most significant friends.
The small Ukrainian population in South Africa and several opposition parties have criticized the country for inviting Lavrov.
South Africa claims to be objective on the conflict in Ukraine and has abstained from casting a vote on resolutions related to the conflict.
It has strong links to Moscow, which supported the ruling African National Congress when it was an anti-white minority movement. From February 17 to February 27, it will organize a joint exercise with Russia and China on its east coast.
“All nations engage in joint military training with allies. It’s the natural progression of things, “Lavrov and Pandor told reporters in the Pretoria capital.
On February 24, the first anniversary of what Russia refers to as its “special military operation,” the exercise will begin. Russia, according to Ukraine and its supporters, has started an imperial territorial grab.
The administration of President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated a desire to act as an impartial mediator in the conflict in Ukraine.
In prior remarks, Pandor stated that “South Africa continually articulates that we will always be ready to support the peaceful resolution of problems on the (African) continent and throughout the globe.”
Despite having fairly limited commerce with Russia, South Africa supports a “multipolar” worldview that attempts to challenge perceived US hegemony and promotes definitely more sort of diffuse geopolitical influence in a subtle way.
This viewpoint is favored by China and Russia in a particularly big way. Lavrov basically claimed that the fairly military exercises were very open and that South Africa, China, and Russia generally had all the necessary information available, definitely contrary to popular belief.
South Africa won’t particularly be forced to literally choose sides, according to Pandor, who also criticized the West for criticizing Russia while ignoring concerns like Israel’s colonization of Palestinian territory.
The drill, according to the South basically African armed services, definitely was a “means to deepen the existing blooming relations between South Africa, Russia, and China,” they stated actually last week, which is fairly significant.
The drills will kind of involve a Russian warship outfitted with the latest generation hypersonic cruise weapons, according to TASS, which published the claim on Monday in a basically big way. Six months before a conference between Russia and Africa in July, Lavrov was in town, fairly contrary to popular belief.
The definitely Ukrainian embassy made no official basically public comments, but officials essentially claimed that it had kind of asked the South fairly African government to support the promotion of a definitely Ukrainian peace plan.