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Punish South Africa For Backing Russia, US Lawmakers Tell Biden

A group of United States of America lawmakers, Bipartisan, has asked President Joe Biden to discipline South Africa for allegedly backing Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by relocating a vital trade meeting to another country.

US President and Cyril Ramaphosa

This was according to a letter dated June 9, 2023, and published on Tuesday in The New York Times.

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The letter was sent to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan. It enters an annual forum for the African Growth and Opportunity Act.

The letter was signed by Senator Chris Coons, the Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; Republican Senator, Jim Risch; Senator Gregory Meeks; and Senator  Michael McCaul.

While officials said intelligence made it known that South Africa may have helped Russia with arms for the war, South African officials disclosed it is “nonaligned” on the conflict, and deny selling weapons to Russia.

Part of the letter read, “Intelligence suggests that the South African government used this opportunity to covertly supply Russia with arms and ammunition that could be used in its illegal war in Ukraine.”

The U.S. lawmakers, as part of the proof that South Africa is an ally to the war, revealed a joint military exercise held with Russia and China in February; a Russian cargo plane under US sanctions was allowed to land at a South African air force base in April; and South Africa’s plan to host an international summit known as BRICS in August that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia may attend.

“We are seriously concerned that hosting the 2023 AGOA Forum in South Africa would serve as an implicit endorsement of South Africa’s damaging support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” it added.

Meanwhile, the spokesman for South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, on Monday disclosed any talk of formal sanctions for South Africa over Russia was “reckless” and “purely alarmist.”

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