Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: US ambassador accuses South Africa of supplying arms to Russia

The US ambassador to South Africa has accused the country of supplying weapons to Russia despite its professed neutrality in the war in Ukraine. Reuben Brigety claimed that a Russian ship was loaded with ammunition and arms in Cape Town last December. Mr Brigety said at a media briefing in Pretoria on Thursday that Washington had concerns about the country’s stated non-aligned stance on the conflict. He referred to the docking of a cargo ship in the Simon’s Town naval base between 6 and 8 December last year which he was “confident” uploaded weapons and ammunition “as it made its way back to Russia”. The presence of the ship, the Lady R, had seemed curious at the time and raised questions from some local politicians. “The arming of the Russians is extremely serious, and we do not consider this issue to be resolved,” Mr Brigety said, in a damning accusation that seems to have caught South Africa’s officials off guard. (https://news.yahoo.com/us-ambassador-accuses-south-africa-151856297.html) President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said it was disappointed by the claims and said no evidence has been provided to support them.

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