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Putin reiterates collaboration with South Africa, rejoices with Ramaphosa

Putin reiterates collaboration with South Africa, rejoices with Ramaphosa

Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin, congratulated South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa on his re-election as president on Monday.

This was seen as a reflection of Russia’s continued good relations with South Africa.

“Hope was expressed for continued joint work on further strengthening of the partnership between Russia and South Africa in all its aspects,” a statement said on the Kremlin website, referring to Putin’s telephone call to Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa was re-elected by parliament on Friday. But the failure of his African National Congress party to win a majority in last month’s election, for the first time in 30 years, was evident.

READ ALSO: U.S. targets Russia’s war economy, issues 300 new sanctions

Russia and Ukraine have jostled for support from African nations since the 2022 invasion, with each country’s foreign minister embarking on several of regional tours.

South Africa’s longstanding links with Moscow – as with a number of African states – date back to Soviet times, when Moscow was a prominent backer of liberation movements and the fight to end apartheid, spearheaded by the ANC.

South Africa initially denounced Russia’s February 2022 invasion, but has since adopted a more nuanced position, including abstaining in several votes in the U.N. General Assembly condemning Russian actions.

Putin is presently in North Korea where his visit signifies an increasingly close relationship between Kremlin and  Pyongyang, with a focus on strengthening military ties and potentially engaging in arms transfers despite their denials. The new strategic agreement is expected to deepen their cooperation further, creating a long-term basis for their relationship while facilitating an anti-U.S. coalition that may challenge Western interests in the region.

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