Despite Cyril Ramaphosa pledging to keep South Africa neutral in the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the DA has defiantly followed its own path on the matter. The opposition party have been comprehensive in criticising Vladimir Putin’s thirst for war – and they are set to meet the Ukrainian Ambassador on Friday.
DA to meet Ukrainian Ambassador
Liubov Abravitova will cross paths with John Steenhuisen, at the gates of Parliament in Cape Town. The pair will then discuss the upcoming debate on the war, which will be held at the National Assembly next week.
The meeting should come as no surprise, given that the DA is unequivocal in support for Ukraine. Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has shut down all diplomatic ties with Russia in his province, and the Blues have actively opposed the government’s official stance at every possible turn.
Opposition party defies national stance on Russia
South Africa shocked many world powers when it refused to condemn Russia at the UN last week. That was followed up by a rather tepid statement from President Ramaphosa, who insisted that South Africa ‘should not be picking sides’. In his chat with Vladimir Putin on Thursday, Cyril was allegedly asked to play the role of a mediator.
However, this quiet diplomacy isn’t sitting well with the DA. Steenhuisen will outline his party’s pro-Ukrainian position to Abravitova, and the duo will also discuss the economic damage being caused by this invasion.
“Today, John Steenhuisen will meet with the Ukranian Ambassador Ms Liubov Abravitova.”
“In light of President Ramaphosa’s call with Vladimir Putin yesterday, DA leadership will express the party’s continued support for Ukraine to Ms Abravitova during the meeting, and our focus on our requested debate on the effects of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the South African economy.
“DA-governments across South Africa unequivocally condemn Russia’s illegal invasion of a sovereign state and the harmful position taken by the South African National Government. Today the DA will formally extend its support and friendship to Ukraine.”