The United States Envoy states that South Africa has breached Pretoria’s pledge to remain neutral regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The envoy from the United States stated on Thursday that a Russian ship had collected arms from South Africa. This is a breach of Pretoria’s pledge to remain neutral. South Africa claimed that it would remain neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
The South African rand and the government are facing losses this year. This is due to the news of them dealing weapons to Russia. The United States is the current currency trader, and they might impose sanctions.
The possibility of massive power cuts from Russia spooks the investors. This has caused them to pull out their capital. The rand is now 19.3250 below the American dollar. It is down by 2.4% and the lowest since the COVID-19 pandemic.
President Cyril Ramaphosa and his office will launch an independent inquiry regarding the claims. A retired judge will oversee the inquiry process. However, earlier, Ramaphose neither confirmed nor denied these allegations.
U.S. comments on the issue
Reuben Brigety, the United States envoy stationed in South Africa, released a statement to the local news outlets. He is a former researcher at the arms division of Human Rights Watch. America is confident that a Russian ship gathered arms and other weapons from the country last year.
Brigety states that on December 6th and 8th, 2022, a Russian vessel named Lady R docked at Simon’s Town. Washington is confident that the ship uploaded arms, ammunition, and other weapons onboard.
He continues to state that it is fundamentally unacceptable that South Africa was arming Russia. The senior officials of the United States have grave concerns about the country’s breach of the pledge to remain non-aligned and neutral in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
South Africa’s recent actions are not in line with those of a non-aligned country, according to Brigety.
South Africa’s response
The Presidential Office has released a statement regarding the comments made by the U.S. Envoy Reuben E. Brigety. The Office is notably concerned about the comments made by the envoy.
It is publicly known that the Russian vessel Lady R docked at Simon’s Town. Since then, there have been speculations regarding the ship’s voyage to the country. However, there is no substantive evidence to back up the claims made by the envoy.
The local politicians were also concerned about the ship’s purpose. They were shocked by the accusations made against their country. Thus, they have decided to launch an independent inquiry to investigate the matter. A retired judge will overlook the investigation.
South African officials and United States intelligence agencies have agreed to let the inquiry proceed independently. President Cyril Ramaphosa states that American agencies will provide the evidence necessary to aid the investigation.
U.S. issues warnings on providing aid to Russia
Washington has repeatedly released warnings regarding providing aid to Russia. If any nation does so, they may be exempt from participating in the world’s most lucrative markets.
Vedant Patel, the spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, released a statement on Thursday. In his comment, he did not repeat the allegations. Instead, he stated that the United States was concerned with the docking of the Russian vessel and raised these concerns with South African officials as well.
He continued to state that America has not made any claims about any country supporting Russia’s war on Ukraine. They will continue to cooperate with all partners and countries involved. He states that the independent inquiry will help clear doubts regarding the allegations.
The United States and other Western nations were previously concerned with the joint naval exercises carried out by South Africa, Russia, and China.