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Pandor declines appeal from European Union to persuade Russia to stop war against Ukraine

Pandor declines appeal from European Union to persuade Russia to stop war against Ukraine
Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor meets EU vice-president and foreign minister Josep Borrell in Pretoria on 26 January 2023. (Photo: Katlholo Maifadi / DIRCO)

The foreign minister says the whole world, not just South Africa, must end the war.

South Africa has declined an appeal from the European Union to use its influence over Russia to persuade it to end its war against Ukraine. 

EU vice-president and foreign minister Josep Borrell made the public appeal to his counterpart, Naledi Pandor, at the end of the 15th South Africa-European Union ministerial meeting, which they co-chaired in Pretoria on Saturday .

The EU has fully condemned Russia’s aggression and many of its members are arming Ukraine to repel the Russian invasion. This week some of them agreed to send tanks to Ukraine.

EU vice-president and foreign minister Josep Borrell in Pretoria on 26 January 2023. (Photo: Katlholo Maifadi / DIRCO)

By contrast, South Africa has maintained a non-aligned stance. It has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion at all and this week, after meeting Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in Pretoria, Pandor said she had not even repeated to him the call her department made on Russia the day the invasion began to “withdraw immediately” from Ukraine and to respect that country’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.

Borrell said in a press conference at the end of Friday’s meeting that whatever anyone else might like to call it, Russia had mounted “a full-scale invasion of a foreign country and an attempt to destroy it, killing Ukrainian civilians, destroying civilian homes, hospital power plants, and all kinds of civilian infrastructure”.

“Facts are facts. What’s happening in Ukraine is nothing less than a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter and the international rules-based international order. Its blatant action in disregard of the laws of national sovereignty is as much of a threat to Europe as it is to the whole world including Africa. 

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“This is not only a European war. It’s happening on European soil but it affects the whole world. The consequences are felt around the whole world and the energy and the food crisis are the most evident direct result. 

“We have always respected South Africa’s traditional non-aligned stance in foreign policy. The European Union doesn’t ask Africa to choose sides.  We are just asking all the countries in the world to stand on the side of the United Nations Charter. Nothing more. But nothing less. Because what is at stake is the survival of multilateralism. 

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“And the European Union regards South Africa as an important partner to uphold and reinvigorate a rules-based international order.

“This is why I very much hope that South Africa, our strategic partner, will use its good relations with Russia and the role it plays in the BRICS group to convince Russia to stop this senseless war.

Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor and EU vice-president and foreign minister Josep Borrell in the OR Tambo Building in Pretoria on 26 January 2023. (Photo: Katlholo Maifadi / DIRCO)

“And you are right, minister,” he told Pandor. “The question of peace in Ukraine is the most important one. We must see a political solution to the conflict because every conflict has an end and in principle the end of a conflict leads to peace. 

“Therefore I think you could do an important contribution to this process.”

But Pandor in effect declined the invitation, saying the whole world has to work together to solve the Ukraine war as it had worked together to overcome Covid-19. 

“It is not just South Africa or other African countries who should play a role in seeking peace. It is all of us who must work together to seek to arrive at a negotiated outcome that addresses the concerns of all the parties involved.” DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Confucious Says says:

    The right hand says no whilst the left hand begs….

  • Glyn Morgan says:

    Gutless! Blind! Dishonest! Anti-democratic!

    Add your own descriptive words, there must be millions.

  • Graeme de Villiers says:

    Pandor is slopping around in the quagmire she has created for herself. Now unable to provide simple, basic reasoning, humanity or logic, she is too far gone in her insistence of Russia being the victim.
    Basically, I call her out as being as spineless and cowardly as the dear president she serves in such a lickspittle manner.

  • Trevor Pope says:

    By our friends will they know us – Russia, China, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Zimbabwe, Syria, … No democracies amongst that lot.

  • J C says:

    Spineless moo…

  • quinton says:

    All war should be strongly condemned. Our governments silence is deafening. I hope that the Ukrainians know that most South African citizen probably disagree with its own Government!

  • Johann Olivier says:

    This is so disgusting. I guess the ANC recognises like minds in the criminal kleptocracy that is the Kremlin. These days must be remembered. These incoherent fools noted. The day will come when the brutal, criminal regime, that Putin represents, falls and South Africa (more specifically, the ANC) finds itself on the wrong side of history. Long may the West, especially victorious, democratic Ukraine, remember these day of shame. Ugh!

  • Hermann Funk says:

    “South Africa has maintained a non-aligned stance”. SA has shown anything but a non-aligned stance. Just take the naval exercises as an example.

  • Malcolm Mitchell says:

    Eventually we will pay the price for this action.

  • Beyond Fedup says:

    Foolish, deranged, treacherous and hypocritical beyond words. The depravity and immorality of this vile ANC misgovernment never fails to disappoint and they are totally beyond the pale. There is no solution to these liars, misfits, thieves and dishonest rabble but to get rid of them. One can only hope and pray that the masses of this country, who have been so badly betrayed and short-changed, finally wake up so that we can flush them into the sewer where they belong. The ANC is like a putrid stench that doesn’t go away!

    • Yvonne Riester says:

      Perfect description once again. I always thought Pandor was a little cleverer than the rest of her ANC colleagues but it appears that stupidity,dishonesty and illogic rub off quickly in their presence.

  • Sue Grant-Marshall says:

    Pass the sickbag please! Pandor is pathetic. SA is a disgrace.

  • Hilary Morris says:

    Totally disgusted by the lying, ducking and diving by Naledi Pandor. I used to think she was a woman of integrity. A bit naive as she is an ANC “cadre” and they don’t know the meaning of the word. And the whole, “We’ll take your money, funding and support, but don’t expect civility or gratitude in return” attitude is humiliating to every thinking South African. Shame on you Minister.
    Do they really think the Russians give a damn about us – and maybe that’s why she refused, they would ignore it anyway.

  • Lisbeth Scalabrini says:

    Ms. Pandor has had some busy and tough days. She has swallowed her first instinctive reaction to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and now she defends the South African Government’s (ANC’s) stance, which makes her a first-class flip-flopper. Mally2 says what is going to happen, I only hope that only the ANC will pay and not SA as a country. The Russians have not even been able to overcome the Ukrainians, so what does the ANC think to obtain from Russia? Neither the European Union nor the USA will probably forget the amoral behaviour of the ANC, I hope.

  • Grant Turnbull says:

    Its all about money, Ramaphosa and his ANC have been bought by Putin – lock,stock and barrel,they can’t speak out. They owe billions to Putin in hard currency hidden in couches and also funding tbe bloated salary bill of the ANC.
    The politicians in this country are a bunch of power hungry Mafia-style gangsters.

  • Patrick Devine says:

    The cadres are …….

    Chose your own expletive

  • Miles Japhet says:

    Pandor is a disgrace
    Putin has an ego dressed up as “concern” and also an inconvenient flourishing under capitalism of a former Soviet state.
    Wake up ANC.

  • Jane Crankshaw says:

    Between Lying Lavrov and Pathetic Pandor…who could expect more from these two idiots! Remember Mrs Pandor….you lie down with dogs, you end up with fleas!

    • Breeze Cooper says:

      Many years ago when Pandor was the Vice Chancellor of UCT I used to think she was an intelligent person with her fancy Euopean accent but now she is a commie disgrace infected by the ANC criminal syndicate and lives don’t matter.

  • Katharine Ambrose says:

    So now the truth is out there for the rest of the world to see too. The ANC is a puppet of the loathsome Russian government. It is not concerned with peace or ending
    War and suffering but only with power games.

  • Trenton Carr says:

    Won’t have to wait for history to judge them and their logic flawed. The world watches our crumbling society with pity and regret.

  • Jackie Campbell says:

    I’m mortified at the thought of being a South African over this

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    I think the SA government is showing that it is not non-aligned and neither are we “neutral”. We pretend to be because we don’t want to admit that we are leaning to Russia’s side. And we are not really committed to peace in Ukraine either – if we were, we would not have declined to push the issue. But there is another issue also at stake here. The rules-based order with the UN as basis – does it apply any longer? Because it can only work if Russia and China are supporting it, and they clearly don’t. No, I am unhappy to say that I think we are already on a very clear path to a Third World War; unless something happens to Putin very soon and he gets replaced, and also some changes to the current relationship of China with the rest of the world.

  • Peter Doble says:

    Pandering Pandor Putin’s Pet Poodle – must be a great feeling to share the looney club with the dregs of the world – Iran, North Korea, Venezuela. And for what in return? Yep, zippo, diddly squat…..

  • Chris Taylor says:

    This conflict is not our war, it is not on our continent. SA has an international pact involving Russia, via BRICS. We as a country have a moral debt to Russia for steadfastly standing against apartheid, something that cannot be said for the USA, the UK or the EU. The Americans on the other hand have a long and deplorable history of attacking and provoking Russia since 1945, and the current conflict is directly related to the expansion of Nato up to the borders of Russia, something that was promised would not happen. But American promises …. Look at Trump’s cancellation of the Iran diplomatic agreement, just as a recent example. The US has seized this opportunity to attack Russia once again using proxy forces. It will not be the last time this happens. We are well out of it. We must never become America’s poodle, or anyone else’s. There was value in the Non-Aligned movement.

  • John Forbes says:

    A recent poll revealed that the majority of South Africans, of all classes and ethnicities, do not share sympathy with Russia, as what passes for a government in South Africa does. They are totally unrepresentative of the majority of South Africans on the issue of the Ukraine.

    Russia is a bully led by a modern day Hitler, one who does not even have any feeling for his own youth that he sends, often against their will, into the meatgrinder, he calls a special military operation. There is no democracy in Russia. People are feed the most appallingly propaganda. He allows a mercenary group, led by a criminal, to literally recruit criminals, some murderers, from the prisons. These are then released to rape and pillage in the Ukraine when the opportunity presents.

    Yet our bunch of fools, crooks and liars soak up all the Russian crap espoused by that proven liar Lavrov, clinging to their “democratic revolution ” ideology and continuing to dance with Russia as if it is the now failed USSR. Forgetful of the fact that the Ukraine was once part of the USSR, and that those countries that now most strongly support Ukraine were once fully in the USSR’s camp.

    South Africa will be judged harshly by the free world for their misdirected support of Russia.
    Cry the beloved Country!

  • Geoff Krige says:

    What a stupid comment she makes in her stance of refusing to condemn Russia. “the whole world has to work together to solve the Ukraine war as it had worked together to overcome Covid-19”. Yes precisely. And that is exactly why the European Union is asking South Africa to join the rest of the world in condemning Putin’s brutal war. Pandor’s stance makes any sense only for one reason – that corrupt Russian business and political leaders offer far better potential for massive backhanders (or brown envelopes, or facilitation fees) to the ANC and ANC stooges than does the European Union. And so in their greed the ANC takes South Africa a further step towards the complete destruction of humanity, decent friendships in the world, good international cooperation, and democracy

  • Brian Cotter says:

    When ANC is voted out in 2024 Pandor’s legacy is based on the last thing she has done. She will lead even Fikile for the mampara award.

  • Carsten Rasch says:

    Non-aligned, but welcoming the Russian foreign minister and doing naval exercises with them. Why the West still bothers with us is beyond me.

  • Gerrie Pretorius says:

    @Carsten Rasch – why the West still bothers with the anc specifically is beyond me. Without the West handing out alms when africa goes begging, the continent will wither away and starve.

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