South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had blamed the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) for Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine

The South African President, who has refused to Condemn Russia, said that NATO is to be blamed for provoking Russia into attacking Ukraine.

He made the statement while speaking in parliament Thursday, citing that the war, now entering its 4th week, could have been averted if NATO hadn’t expanded eastward.

“The war could have been avoided if NATO had heeded warnings from amongst its own leaders and officials over the years that its eastward expansion would lead to greater, not less, instability in the region,” Ramaphosa said.

Ramaphosa, who refused to Condemn Russia, insisted that there should be dialogue.

“There are those who are insisting that we should take a very adversarial stance against Russia. The approach we are going to take (instead) is … insisting there should be dialogue,” he said, adding: “Screaming and shouting is not going to bring an end to this conflict,”

Meanwhile, South African announced earlier that it remains committed to working relations with economic bloc, BRICS which has Russia, China, India and Brazil as partners. The country equally abstained from the UN General Assembly’s earlier vote to condemn Russia.

African leaders have, however, faced criticism from their western counterparts for being neutral and not doing enough to isolate Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Seventeen Africa nations abstained from the UN resolution vote.

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