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Putin Congratulates Ramaphosa on Re-Election, Highlighting Strong Ties

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Ayize claire

Jun 18, 2024

Moscow and Pretoria Strengthen Partnership Amid Ongoing Ukraine Conflict

Cyril Ramaphosa and Putin shake hands before Russia Africa summit in St Petersburg

Kremlin leader Vladimir Putin congratulated South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa on his re-election as president, reflecting the continued strong relations between Moscow and Pretoria despite the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. A statement on the Kremlin website noted hopes for further strengthening the partnership between Russia and South Africa.

Ramaphosa, re-elected by parliament, leads a new government formed by five parties after his African National Congress (ANC) failed to win a majority for the first time in 30 years. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in 2022, both nations have sought African support, with foreign ministers making regional tours.

South Africa's historic ties with Moscow date back to Soviet support during the anti-apartheid struggle led by the ANC. Initially condemning the invasion, South Africa later adopted a nuanced stance, abstaining from several U.N. votes against Russia. At a recent Swiss-hosted peace summit on Ukraine, South Africa declined to sign the final communique.

As host of the 2023 BRICS summit, South Africa faced a dilemma over inviting Putin, given an ICC arrest warrant against him for alleged deportation of Ukrainian children.

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