May 13, 2023
German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has issued a warning to South Africa, saying that she is “very concerned” with allegations that Pretoria delivered arms to Russia.
Baerbock’s statement comes after the US ambassador to South Africa, Reuben Brigety, claimed that the Russian-flagged cargo ship Lady R. left the port of Simon’s Town in December 2022 loaded with weapons and ammunition.
Pretoria has denied the allegations, and has summoned Brigety to the South African Foreign Ministry for a dressing-down.
“I am very concerned that there have been these reports,” Baerbock told journalists on the sidelines of the EU foreign ministers summit in Stockholm, Sweden. “I am treating the allegations very seriously and will consult with other countries on the matter.”
“If someone were to supply weapons to the aggressor, it would be the opposite of ending the war,” Baerbock said, referring to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Germany recently approved the delivery of hundreds of its Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine.
The US and Germany are two of the leading Western powers in the sanctions campaign against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. The sanctions have had a significant impact on the Russian economy, and have forced Moscow to turn to other countries, such as China and India, for trade and investment.
South Africa is a member of the BRICS group of emerging economies, which also includes Brazil, Russia, India, and China. BRICS countries have been critical of the Western sanctions against Russia, and have called for a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Ukraine.
South Africa has also refused to impose sanctions on Russia, and has not supplied Ukraine with weapons. Pretoria has said that it wants to remain neutral in the conflict, and that it is committed to finding a diplomatic solution.
It remains to be seen how the allegations against South Africa will play out. If the allegations are true, it could have serious implications for Pretoria’s relationship with the West. However, if the allegations are false, it could damage the credibility of the US and Germany.
The situation is likely to remain tense until the matter is resolved.
Source -MasimbaNews ✍🏿