NATO expansion destabilized Europe: SA President
The South African president's words came as a rebuttal to an MP calling on him to condemn Russia's actions in Ukraine.
NATO's expansion eastward played a role in the Ukraine crisis, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said Thursday before Parliament.
"A view shared by many leading scholars on international relations [is] that the war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded the warnings from among its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater instability in the region," he said.
Russia had launched a special military operation for several reasons, including NATO's eastward expansion. Other reasons were the Ukrainian shelling of Donbass and the killing of the people of the Donetsk People's Republic and Lugansk People's Republic, in addition to Moscow wanting to "denazify" and demilitarize Ukraine.
Ramaphosa's words came in response to a lawmaker's request to condemn Russia's special military operation in Ukraine as a friend, or "it will see you as a useful idiot."
MP Pieter Groenewald's call for condemning Russia over its operation comes as Ukraine's western allies condemned and sanctioned Moscow one by one following President Putin's announcement of the operation in question.
President Ramaphosa proposed instead to revitalize the non-aligned movement of 120 developing nations to ensure that they stay out of "hegemonic contests" between world powers and are able to work together to build peace across the globe.