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South Africa. Allegations of arms supply to Russia. The authorities in Pretoria deny it. Vladimir Putin spoke with Cyril Ramaphosa

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US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, quoted by Reuters, said that the Biden administration has consistently called on countries not to supply weapons for Russia’s war with Ukraine. Earlier, the American ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, accused the government in Pretoria of supplying arms to Russia. South African officials say the diplomat’s allegations are untrue. The Kremlin said on Friday that Vladimir Putin spoke by phone with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on Friday.

– We have not approved the transfer of any weapons to Russia South Africa’s Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, Mondli Gungubele, announced in an interview on local radio 702. At the end of 2022, he headed the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC). South Africa.

A similar position was taken by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clayson Monyela. He announced that the issue of alleged arms supplies will be the subject of talks between the head of South African diplomacy Naledi Pandor and the secretary of state USA Antony Blinken.

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No official has given a clear answer to the question whether the arms shipment actually left a port in South Africa last December, Reuters noted.

Return voyage to Russia

South African media reported on Thursday that the US ambassador to Pretoria, Reuben Brigety, accused the South African government of supplying arms to Russia. The diplomat allegedly stated that one of the arms shipments was made in December 2022, when the commercial ship Lady R called at a naval base in the Cape Town area and stayed there for three days.

As Brigety emphasized, the US is convinced that after loading weapons and ammunition, the ship set off on a return voyage to Russia. The ambassador informed that the South African defense minister had received a letter on this matter, but the response was violent criticism of the relationship between the United States and African countries. Brigety said his government took the matter very seriously and hoped South Africa would “implement the policy of neutrality it preaches”.

When asked about the credibility of the intelligence data, the diplomat said that “he would die for it”.

Lady R ship in Turkish port Reuters

Kirby on “serious problem”

US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, quoted by Reuters, said on Friday that the administration Joe Biden consistently calls on countries not to supply arms for Russia’s war with Ukraine. In this way, he answered journalists’ questions regarding allegations regarding the supply of arms to Russia via South Africa.

Reuters noted that “Kirby declined to elaborate on the South African issue, stating only that it was a serious problem.”

Kremlin communiqué

In a Friday communiqué of the authorities in the Kremlin, it was stated that the president Vladimir Putin spoke by phone that day with South African leader Cyril Ramaphosa. “Current issues of the Russian-South African strategic partnership were discussed,” the Kremlin said, emphasizing that the talks were held on the initiative of the South African side.

South Africa is an important partner of the Kremlin in the international arena. Together with Russia, it has formed the BRICS group since 2011: South Africa, Russia, India, China and Brazil.

Vladimir Putin and Cyril Ramaphosa during the BRICS Summit. Photo July 2018 kremlin.ru

Main photo source: Reuters

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