Wednesday 2024-06-19




By SIFISO DLAMINI | 2023-01-18

Despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, which has cost thousands of lives, Russian Federation to Eswatini Ambassador, Alexander Surikov, has advised Emaswati that conflict and war was not the right path to take when resolving disputes and differences.

The ambassador said dialogue and peaceful negotiations were the best solutions and urged Emaswati to refrain from conflict and violence when resolving differences.

On February 24, 2022, Russia invaded Ukraine in a major escalation of the Russia-Ukrainian conflict, which began in 2014.

The war has resulted in thousands of deaths on both sides and caused Europe's largest refugee crisis since World War II
The BBC stated that the actual death toll could be over 22 000 according to the most conservative estimate, counting only Russian servicemen and contractors, excluding DPR/LPR militia.

Meanwhile, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) verified a total of 7 031 civilian deaths during Russia's invasion of Ukraine as of January 15, 2023. Of them, 433 were children.

Furthermore, 11 327 people were reported to have been injured.
However, OHCHR specified that the real numbers could be higher.

Surikov made the utterances during a press briefing with local media houses held at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel in Mbabane yesterday afternoon.

The ambassador was responding to questions on how the current political situation in the country would be better resolved and whether going to war was advisable.
He, however, clarified that he was a foreign diplomat and could not interfere with the internal affairs of the country.

“I respect and have to respect the authorities which ever they may be,” he said.
Surikov said it was up to the country’s population to respect culture traits, to vote or not to vote, support or not to support the country’s authorities.

He said as Russia, they respected all peculiarities of the countries all over the world.
“There are more than 200 countries in the world, including monarchies, republics, noble religious rulers to name a few,” he said.

The ambassador went on to state that there was no existing standard for the word democracy and everyone loved the word democracy, which was a very nice word.

He, however, enquired which democracy was the standard one while referring to the ancient Greeks who coined the word but yet they practiced slavery and segregated black people and all others they deemed as minorities.

According to Surikov, in every country, there were peculiarities, traditions, religions and ethnic beliefs adding that this was why they could not interfere and had to respect all countries.
With regards to the current political situation in the country, the ambassador said they were against war and insisted that war and conflict were the worst way to solve differences.

“Dialogue and trying to find peaceful negotiations and compromise solutions was the answer in order for everybody to be satisfied,” he said.

He further stated that peace and dialogue was the best way for everyone to be satisfied and victory won in battle was not stable if the people did not agree with the situation.
He said different countries had different histories and many countries were young including Eswatini.

The ambassador advised that if people were not pleased about something, they should strive to find a way, invent, propose and try to convince the opposition peacefully and that there was a different and better way to resolve conflict instead of conflict.

Surikov said human beings evolved and differed from wild animals and it was only in the animal kingdom that the strongest were the victors and human beings were now social and use words to persuade people and pass information peacefully instead of resorting to conflict.

He added that as human beings, there were many ways of finding solutions for whatever trouble they faced.

The ambassador said he was confident that Emaswati knew better that using old traditions and methods of solving differences peacefully to create a better life for all.

He said this was not a question of monarchy, republican or religion and happiness did not depend on these aspects but all must be done peacefully.
“As Russia, we have lost over 30 million people to warts over the last century. We have to all value every life and that is why less violence in all changes is better,” he said.

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