DOI: 10.1111/1758-5899.13325 ISSN: 1758-5880

Aligned or non‐aligned: South Africa's response to the war in Ukraine

Malte Brosig
  • Law
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Global and Planetary Change


This contribution explores South Africa's position in the war in Ukraine. As a major African player, member of BRICS, the G20, and frequent UN Security Council member, the country is a globally engaged and regionally leading actor. Since the beginning of the conflict, South Africa has declared itself as non‐aligned; however, its close political relations with Russia and disinclination to condemn the invasion have raised the issue of whether the country is only declaratory neutral. Although South Africa is only indirectly affected by the war, it was chiefly involved in the first major peace initiative spearheaded by a select group of African countries. This contribution traces South Africa's official state response to the war, exploring its narrative of the conflict and is interrogating its version of non‐alignment in the context of a transitioning world order.

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