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South Africa: 'You Cannot Remain Neutral' – Russian Ambassador Says Country Must Take Stance On War in Europe

The Russian ambassador to South Africa, Ilya Igorevich Rogachev, has sent out a clear message about South Africa’s non-aligned stance on Russia’s war in Ukraine.

After months of Russia stating that it would not force any nations to support it in its decision to invade Ukraine, the Russian ambassador to South Africa, Ilya Igorevich Rogachev, has changed that tune by saying that there is “no place for neutrality in the modern world”.

Rogachev was speaking at Wednesday’s ANC Russian-Ukraine dialogue with diplomats in Johannesburg. The ambassadors of Ukraine and China were among those invited but were unable to attend.

Rogachev repeated the Russian mantra that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was a means of defence to ensure that Nato does not continue its advancement in Europe.

“You cannot remain neutral, you will be punished by secondary sanctions … this is the logic they [the West] will not allow. [You cannot] remain distant and neutral,” Rogachev said.

Responding, the chairperson of the ANC’s International Relations subcommittee, Lindiwe Zulu, explained that South Africa cannot adopt a concept that has not been endorsed by the governing party.

South Africa’s head of diplomacy, Clayson Monyela, said that South Africa’s stance cannot be defined as neutrality. He said Pretoria’s stance would be vindicated because in any conflict the most powerful position is the call for peace. He gave assurances that…

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