US, turmoil in South Africa-Russia relations: dangerous partnership

New front of confrontation between Washington and Moscow The White House has been concerned about a possible rapprochement between South Africa and Russia. “We share Congressional concerns about a potential security partnership between South Africa and Russia,” Judd Devermont, head of Sub-Saharan Africa at the White House, told reporters.

The American ambassador in Pretoria, Reuben Brigety, recently accused the South African government of having delivered weapons to Russia, a country that has been conducting a military offensive against Ukraine for over a year, provoking strong protests in the United States. According to him, a Russian freighter docked in December near Cape Town before returning to Russia laden with weapons and ammunition. In a letter, influential US lawmakers demanded that South Africa no longer be eligible for trade benefits under the US African Development Act (AGOA). This law, which expires in 2025, grants privileged access to the US market to African countries that meet certain democratic criteria. Elected officials suggest that such a weapons surrender, if proven, would violate US sanctions and are calling for a forthcoming meeting under South Africa’s planned AGOA to be held in another country.

The US official did not comment on these sanctions but guaranteed that “the law is very clear about what we should do and that it will not change for South Africa”. Another official responsible for Africa at the Department of State, Molly Phee, for her part, said she hoped that South Africa would respect its long-standing non-aligned countries policy: “South Africa is expected to respect this policy regarding this terrible conflict in Europe”. South Africa, close to the Kremlin since the fight against apartheid, has refused to condemn the February 2022 invasion of Ukraine, saying it wants to remain neutral during the period of war. And now they are taking revenge on the US.

Source: IL Tempo