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Russia – South Africa. The US accuses South Africa of arming Russia. The ambassador on the Russian ship Lady R loaded with ammunition and weapons

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The US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, accused South Africa of supplying arms to Russia, despite its alleged neutrality in relation to the Russian attack on Ukraine. Brigety told local media he was “convinced” that the Russian cargo ship Lady R was loaded with weapons and ammunition at the port of Simonstad last December.

During a meeting with journalists in the capital South AfricaPretoria, the US ambassador said Washington has concerns about South Africa’s declared neutral stance on the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“The arming of the Russians is extremely serious and we do not consider this issue resolved,” Reuben Brigety said. He added that he was “convinced” that South Africa had transferred the weapons to Moscow.

“Among the things we noticed was the docking of the Russian cargo ship Lady R in Simonstad between December 6 and 8, 2022, which we believe was loaded with weapons and ammunition as it departed for its return voyage to Russia said the diplomat.

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READ ALSO: Allies of Vladimir Putin. Which countries can Moscow count on?

The Russian cargo ship Lady R in the port of Simonstad, South Africa (photo taken on December 8, 2022)NIC BOTHMA/EPA/PAP

In the first half of December, the Russian cargo ship Lady R called at the naval base located on the south coast in the Cape Town area, in the town of Simonstad, and moored there for three days. The ship’s presence at the time sparked interest and questions from some local politicians.

As Brigety said, at that time a letter was sent to the South African defense minister on this matter, but the response – stated the ambassador – was violent criticism of the United States’ relations with Africa.

Bridgety stressed that his government was taking the matter seriously and hoped that South Africa would “start implementing the policy of neutrality that it preaches”. The BBC reminds that United States have been critical of South Africa’s friendly relations with Russia for months.

The ambassador also reminded that the US and South African representatives discussed joint Chinese-Russian-South African naval exercises. “We have expressed serious concerns about the timing of the joint naval exercise, which coincided with the anniversary of the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Bridgety said.

SEE ALSO: “There is no option not to arrest Putin.” The official of the “only possibility”

South African President: The matter is being investigated

After the publication of this information, the opposition demanded from South African President Cyril Ramaphosa explanations about the weapons for Russia. Rampahosa said his government was “investigating the matter” and “will be able to comment on it” in due course.

Photo from 2018

Cyril Ramaphosa in BrusselsPhoto from 2018SAlexandros Mikhailidis / Shutterstock

Main photo source: NIC BOTHMA/EPA/PAP

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