(Johannesburg) The African National Congress (ANC), South Africa’s ruling party, has sent senior officials to Russia for a “working visit” with President Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, including “discussions on a readjustment world order,” the ANC said on Saturday.

“This visit responds to an invitation from the United Russia Party, Russia’s largest political party, a longtime ally and friend of the ANC,” the South African party said in a statement.

It “includes discussions of a readjustment of the world order to reverse the consequences of neocolonialism and the unipolar world that previously prevailed,” he said.

South Africa has been criticized since the start of the war in Ukraine for its proximity to Moscow. Pretoria claims to respect a “neutral” position and refuses to join Western calls to condemn Russia, explaining that it wants to promote dialogue.

The southern African country is due to host a BRICS summit in August bringing together Brazil, China, India and Russia as the International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, issued an arrest warrant in March against Vladimir Putin for war crimes.

The visit of ANC representatives, which began on Thursday, is expected to last until Sunday. The delegation is led by a member of the party’s all-powerful executive committee, Obed Bapela.

South Africa hosted naval drills with Russia and China off its coast in February, sparking “concern” on the international stage.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov paid an official visit to Pretoria in January.

Ties between South Africa and Russia date back to the apartheid era, with the Kremlin supporting the ANC in the fight against the racist regime.