JOHANNESBURG — US President Joe Biden held phone calls with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday, a day after the powerful African nation abstained on a resolution suspending Russia for its aggression in Ukraine by a UN legal body.
Ramaphosa, whose government has been criticized for refusing to condemn Moscow’s bloody invasion, had a day earlier called the UN Security Council “outdated” and in dire need of an overhaul.
Hours later, South Africa was among 58 countries to abstain from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council as a punishment for invading Ukraine.
It was the third time that South Africa had abstained from voting on resolutions passed during the war.
Ramaphosa tweeted Friday that he had a “productive” phone call with Biden.
“We shared our views on the conflict in Ukraine and agreed that a ceasefire and dialogue between Ukraine and Russia is necessary,” Ramaphosa wrote.