S Africa's Ramaphosa: NATO to blame for Russia's war in Ukraine

Al Jazeera 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has blamed NATO for the war in Ukraine and said he would resist calls to condemn Russia, in comments that cast doubt over whether he would be accepted by Ukraine or the West as a mediator. Ramaphosa, who was speaking on Thursday in parliament, said: "The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region." But he added that South Africa "cannot condone the use of force and violation of international law" – an apparent reference to Russia's February 24 invasion of Ukraine. President Vladimir Putin has characterised Russia's actions as a "special operation" to disarm and "denazify" Ukraine and counter what he calls NATO aggression. Kyiv and its Western allies believe Russia launched the unprovoked war to subjugate a neighbour Putin calls an artificial state.

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