Conflict in Ukraine is a war of the superpowers: Mbeki

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Former President Thabo Mbeki believes that the current conflict in Ukraine is a war between the superpowers. Mbeki was speaking on the sidelines of an event organised by the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs.

Mbeki also weighs in on the current debate about the dropping of US currency as a trading currency by international countries.

It has become an annual tradition for former President Mbeki to set aside time twice a year to interact with students and academics at the Thabo Mbeki African School of Public and International Affairs.

Those in attendance addressed the former President on a number of current global issues. These include his views on the war in Ukraine, particularly ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit next week to the Russian Federation next week and President Vladimir Putin.

“It’s clear that the conflict in Ukraine is in many respects a conflict between the US and the Western countries against Russia – an important part of it. This fact has been not only to supply weapons to Ukraine but also imposing sanctions against Russia hasn’t worked.”

Alternative world currency

He also touched on the current discourse on countries looking to an alternative world currency as US sanctions imposed on Russia impact international trade.

“The use of the dollar as an internationally reserved currency is clear; it is part of what is happening. But many countries are saying to avoid this consequence of the imposition of sanctions by the United States, on the basis of we are using their currency, let’s walk away from the dollar.”

On the current conflict in the Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mbeki says the M23 rebels and the DRC government must respect the ceasefire and engage in peace talks.

“President [Uhuru] Kenyatta in that envoy is very determined that we must intervene in the Congo as he is doing in a manner that we also help in terms of the preparations  of the next elections.”