21.9 C
Cape Town
Sunday, December 10, 2023

‘We punch way above our weight’: Ramaphosa on phone call with Zelensky

Published on


President Cyril Ramaphosa says a phone call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Thursday is evidence of South Africa’s continued critical role in resolving global conflicts.


Speaking at a Brics Colloquium and Presidential Gala Dinner in Sandton on Thursday evening, the president revealed snippets of the discussion.


The two presidents spoke to each other for the first since Ramaphosa led a team of African heads of state to Ukraine and Russia in June in an attempt to try and end the war.


“I spoke to President Zelensky on issues that stem from our visit and discussions. He appreciated our visit and said it was a positive visit. We spoke about the 10 points we set out, and he said he appreciated South Africa’s role. Our country continues to play an important role in seeing how conflicts can be resolved,” Ramaphosa said.


ALSO READ: Ramaphosa: SA will not take sides in a contest between global powers


In a tweet on Thursday night, Zelensky said: “Had a phone call with the Republic of South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa. Thanked him for visiting Bucha and Kyiv together with other African leaders and for further efforts to return children illegally deported by Russia. We praised the results of the meeting of advisors in Copenhagen.


“We discussed the preparations for the Global Peace Summit and the necessary diplomatic steps to consolidate African support for Ukraine. We also emphasised the importance of extending the grain corridor.”


Ramaphosa said the war and its impact would be discussed at the Brics summit in August. The heads of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, are expected to attend the summit along with large delegations.


ALSO READ: War in Ukraine must stop, Ramaphosa tells Putin


The political rift about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s attendance at the summit remains a thorny issue.


Ramaphosa told guests at the gala dinner on Thursday that it would be an in-person summit.


“This is the first Brics summit to be held in person… There were rumours going around that this would be online; it would be face-to-face, eyeball-to-eyeball.”


“South Africa is the smallest economy of the other Brics countries. We punch way above our weight. We are seen as playing a key strategic role, tiny as we are. South Africa plays an important role in the world.”



Latest articles

Make a splash in Cape Town’s inner City Hotel pools this summer

Need to soak up the sun yet get some sparkling respite from the summer heat? Dive into these divine hotel pools in downtown Cape...

Date set for final voter registration weekend

  The Electoral Commission has announced the dates for the second and final voter registration weekend ahead of the 2024 National and Provincial Elections.   The Electoral...

Fixtures confirmed for HSBC SVNS Cape Town

  The Blitzboks and Springbok Women’s Sevens will kick off their HSBC SVNS Cape Town campaigns with two tricky matches before 11h00 on Saturday morning...