The DA calls on the ANC government to use its membership of BRICS to condemn Russia’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region and to call for Russia’s immediate withdrawal.
South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Charter which binds all countries “[to] maintain international peace and security….[though] the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace”. Russia has violated this provision and South Africa’s inaction will amount to a tacit condonation of Russia’s actions.
In addition the Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor, should summon the Russian Ambassador to South Africa , Mr Ilya Igorevich Rogachev, and demand that Russia immediately stops its military campaign in Ukraine and withdraw its troops from Ukrainian territory.
Putin’s invasion of Ukraine has received widespread condemnation across the world and the South African government’s silence is deeply concerning. The Russian President’s dream of an ‘Empire’ not only poses a threat to Ukraine but to the whole of Eastern Europe. Failure to stop Putin now will be detrimental to world peace.
South Africa needs to play its part to ensure that Putin is brought to the negotiating table. His violation of Ukrainian territorial integrity and sovereignty is a direct infringement of international law and should not be allowed to stand.
By allowing Putin to get away with murder, Minister Pandor is making a mockery of her own government’s foreign policy doctrine of pursuing Ubuntu diplomacy and protection of human rights. Lives are needlessly being lost to appease Putin’s hunger for war and ‘Empire’.
The South African government should choose the right side of history by standing in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. We cannot afford to keep silent when Russia has made it clear that they can do whatever they want to upend the existing international order which is built on peace and mutual respect.