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Differences over Ukraine war cloud Scholz’s South Africa trip

Differences over Ukraine war cloud Scholz’s South Africa trip

dpa
Pretoria
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to South Africa on Tuesday highlighted differences of opinion of the war in Ukraine between himself and South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.
While Scholz condemned the Russian invasion and stressed the need for international sanctions, Ramaphosa did not criticize the war itself, but did point to the negative effects of sanctions.
“Even those countries that are either bystanders or not part of the conflict are also going to suffer from the sanctions that have been imposed against Russia,” Ramaphosa said.
South Africa is among 17 African countries that abstained from voting on a UN resolution in March condemning Russia’s invasion.
In total, there were 35 abstentions and five votes against.
Ramaphosa said at a joint press conference that Scholz had shown understanding for these countries, but the German chancellor countered that it was “not acceptable” that countries had voted against the UN resolution.
He did not comment directly on the abstentions.
“Russia’s goal is to conquer Ukrainian territory that does not belong to Russia. That should be clear to anyone who examines the situation,” Scholz said.
Ramaphosa insisted that dialogue was the only way to resolve the conflict. The apartheid regime in South Africa had ultimately been brought to an end through negotiations, he said.