‘It’s a serious problem’: White House responds to claims that South Africa transferred weapons to Russia | world news

White House National Security Council spokesman Admiral John Kirby described reports that a Russian freighter transported weapons from a South African port to Russia in December as a ” serious problem”.

Speaking to Sky News, he said: “We have consistently and strongly urged countries not to provide any support for Russia’s war.

“We believe that no one should make it easy for Mr. Cheese fries kill innocent people Ukrainian people, period.

“We’ve had multiple conversations at multiple levels, with multiple countries about these concerns, but obviously I’m not going to get into the diplomatic conversations themselves.

“It’s a serious problem.”

Provide weapons

the American ambassador to South Africa said on Thursday that he was confident Russian vessel, the Lady R, had picked up weapons in the country last year which would represent a violation of Pretoria’s declared neutrality in the war.

John Kirby said no nation should “look for ways to make Mr Putin’s job easier”. Photo: AP

“We are convinced that weapons were loaded on this vessel, and I would bet my life on the accuracy of this assertion,” Ambassador Rueben Brigety told reporters in South Africa.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa responded, saying his government would open an investigation.

“The matter is under review and in time we can talk about it [it]“, said the president.

Phone call

The development comes as President Ramaphosa and President Putin spoke by phone during a call, which the Kremlin said was initiated by the South African side.

In a brief summary of the call, released by the Kremlin, the two “expressed their intention to further intensify mutually beneficial ties in various fields.”

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According to the Kremlin, Mr Putin told Mr Ramaphosa that Moscow had never refused the “diplomatic way” to resolve the conflict in Ukraine.

Kremlin officials said President Putin supports President Ramaphosa’s peace proposal, which involves African leaders in an initiative to bring peace.

Peak in August

Both Russia and South Africa are members of the BRICS group of nations, including Brazil, India And China.

The next BRICS summit will be held in Durban, South Africa on August 15. It is unclear whether President Putin will defy sanctions on his trip to attend the summit.

Learn more:
South Africa accused of supplying weapons to Russia
The West’s Relations with Still Wealthy Developing Countries

Both Russia and China have focused on Africa in recent years. China in particular has a large economic footprint in the counties of the African continent.

Joe Biden has yet to visit Africa as US president and his administration has been accused of neglecting the continent.

The consequence, geopolitically, has been a pivot for many African countries towards Beijing and Moscow.

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During the Putin-Ramaphosa phone call, the Russian president repeated an offer of free delivery of Russian grain and fertilizer to African countries.

At the White House, Admiral Kirby would not be drawn further on the issue of the Lady R cargo ship, but added: “No other nation should be looking for ways to make it easier for Mr. Putin to kill the Ukrainian people, they [Russia] are the aggressor.

“They have to go. They shouldn’t be there in the first place.

“And no one should look for a way to make it easier for him to conduct this war and leave it at that.”


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