Fraying ties

South Africa faces ‘consequences’ over alleged arms sales to Russia

By Julian Pecquet, in Washington

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Posted on May 15, 2023 08:03

 © In this file photo, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2019 Russia-Africa summit. Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS
In this file photo, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin speaks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa at the 2019 Russia-Africa summit. Sergei Chirikov/Pool via REUTERS

South Africa’s support for Russia is increasingly straining bilateral ties with the US.

Frustrated by Pretoria’s perceived dismissal of repeated US warnings, Ambassador Reuben Brigety ignited a firestorm of controversy late last week when he accused the country of providing Moscow with weapons and ammunition for its war in Ukraine. The arms were allegedly uploaded onto the Lady R, a US-sanctioned Russian vessel when it docked at Simon’s Town naval base in December.

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