DIRCO: SA concerned about ‘ongoing tensions’ between Russia and Ukraine

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said the South African government is concerned about the ongoing tensions at the Ukraine and Russia border, in a statement on Wednesday evening, 23 February.

DIRCO FINALLY COMMENTS ON RUSSIA/UKRAINE SITUATION

DIRCO said if the situation is allowed to deteriorate further it could have regional and global ramifications.

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognised two rebel camps in Ukraine as people’s republics this week – Donetsk and Lugansk – and dispatched peacekeeping troops to the areas, which are loyal to Russia.

The United States responded by implementing sanctions against the country because many see the move as the first step to an all-out invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions are meant to impact the Russian financial sector and its oligarchs.

Graphic showing major sanctions by western countries against Russia – AFP / AFP

“There’s no question that Russia is the aggressor, so we’re clear-eyed about the challenges we’re facing,” said US President Joe Biden, according to AFP.

“Nonetheless, there is still time to avert the worst-case scenario that will bring untold suffering to millions of people,” he added.

DIRCO Minister Dr Naledi Pandor seemingly shares the same sentiments as the US president. “All parties have much to gain from a negotiated outcome and much to lose from an unnecessary and violent conflict.”

The department called for a diplomatic resolution and said the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) must play a central role in achieving peace.

“The UNSC is the body given the mandate for maintenance of international peace & security and it must exercise its role fully. As South Africa, we believe all the issues of concern to any of the parties must be addressed in inclusive talks led by the UNSG,” said Pandor.

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