President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday urged the UN Security Council to act with urgency to mediate an end to the conflict in Ukraine as Russian troops entered Kyiv.
“Right now the parties need to get together so that we stop this conflict — that is now turning to be a violent conflict — immediately,” Ramaphosa told reporters.
“So I call on the UN Security Council to do their mediation work. If ever there was a time in the world when the UNSecurity Council needs to come into its own, this is the time. They must all put their heads together and resolve this conflict so that this war stops,” the president said.
“Clearly diplomacy has failed, but mediation and engagement is the only way out, there is no other way of resolving this conflict other than proper and serious engagement.”
He said the fact that Russia currently chaired the security council was not an impediment to a mediation process.
“It is possible, because even as Russia is chairing they should still be able to solicit a meeting to happen so that the matter can be discussed.”
He said the South African government was “on the way now of getting a discussion going with Russia”, as well as with the US.
Ramaphosa regretted that a proposed meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden was cancelled earlier this week. A meeting between the US and Russian foreign ministers planned for Thursday was also abandoned.
“If that meeting had gone ahead without any conditions, I’m sure we would have avoided the calamitous situation that is unfolding now,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa confirmed that he would also be speaking to Nato officials. He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of an intergovernmental forum to co-ordinate state litigation.