Durban - Former president Jacob Zuma’s foundation issued a statement on Sunday calling for peace between Russia and Ukraine amid the ongoing conflict.
The foundation said that as one of the elders of the ANC, Zuma felt "it would be remiss of him not to exercise his constitutionally enshrined freedom of expression and share his thoughts on the developments".
Zuma, according to the foundation, said the current impasse between Russia and Ukraine must be seen within the context of dynamics in the balance of forces on a global scale.
“This impasse has by default also exposed the hypocrisy of what has become the conventional wisdom, which always favours the Western forces, including their bullying tendencies and their insatiable appetite to dominate others, while clandestinely furthering their own agendas and interests.
“Countries like Russia and China, thanks to their strong political and economic independence, have managed to defend their territories from these Western bullies and must be applauded.”
Zuma said Russian President Vladimir Putin has been patient with the Western forces, but nonetheless Putin has been clear about his opposition of the eastern expansion of Nato into Ukraine.
He said the presence of Nato in Ukraine would pose an untenable security risk to Putin.
Referring to the Western forces, Zuma said he himself was removed from office "using their forces that they are in control of within some structures of our government; and some that they control in the ruling party".
Zuma said that without the Western powers backing Ukraine, the impasse between Russia and Ukraine could be resolved quickly and amicably.
“We call on [Ukraine] President [Volodymyr] Zelensky to put the interests of the Ukrainians first, instead of pandering to his Western allies at the expense of innocent lives,” Zuma said.