Earlier this month, Ukraine’s Ambassador to South Africa, Liubov Abravitova claimed her requests to meet with the South African government to discuss Russia’s attacks fell on deaf ears. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) hit back, saying Abravitova did in fact with government officials – and that she has ignored their request for Ramaphosa to speak to Zelensky.
In a tweet shared on Wednesday evening, 20 April 2022, President Volodymyr Zelensky said he and President Cyril Ramaphosa discussed the ongoing situation with Russia and other issues, including fears of a looming global food crisis.
“Had a phone conversation with @CyrilRamaphosa. Told about our resistance to Russian aggression. Discussed the threat of a global food crisis, deepening relations with the Republic of South Africa and cooperation within international organizations,” he said.
Ramaphosa, who has spoken to Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden about the Russia invasion, has been vocal about his willingness to also chat with Zelensky.
Government has maintained that the only way to end the crisis is for both Ukraine and Russia to engage in dialogue. South Africa was one of 58 countries in the United Nations that opted against a resolution to have Russia removed from the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC).