WESTERN CAPE LEADER MEETS UKRAINE AMBASSADOR
On March 9, Winde and the Western Cape provincial cabinet condemned the Russian invasion of Ukraine and “the ambiguous position” taken by the national government in response to the conflict.
Winde said although it was not common for a province to take such a stand, the provincial cabinet felt it was essential to make its position known to residents, Ukraine and the rest of the world, saying the Western Cape could not remain neutral “in the face of such a cruel attack on the democratic values we all hold dear.”
The provincial government resolved to condemn the invasion and said no Russian Embassy or Consulate official – or their staff – would be invited to any provincial events and vice versa.
Winde also said he would seek to meet the Ukrainian ambassador, which he did on Friday.
“During the meeting, I also expressed my great sorrow at the growing loss of life caused by the invasion.
“This unprovoked, illegal war, which threatens world peace and the very foundation of the liberal international order, cannot be met by neutrality and silence. It requires all of us to take a stand,” he said.
The Premier also urged President Ramaphosa and DIRCO Minister Naledi Pandor to meet with Ukraine’s ambassador as soon as possible “to hear firsthand the horror of President Putin’s war.”
Ramaphosa said he had a phone call with Putin on Thursday and remarked that the Russian leader appreciated the nation’s “balanced approach.” He also said South Africa has been approached to mediate the conflict because of its cosy relationship with Russia.