US Ambassador Reuben Brigety has been slammed by the Russian embassy in South Africa for making claims that weapons South Africa sold weapons to Russia.

The Russian embassy in South Africa has rubbished claims made by Reuben Brigety that South Africa covertly delivered weapons to Russia via the Lady R vessel, which docked in Simon’s Town in December 2022.

By Staff Reporters

Last week the US ambassador to South Africa made controversial comments about a Russian ship that had docked in Simon’s Town in December of last year, and in response, the Russian embassy accused the US of hypocrisy and applying double standards.

Reuben Brigety caused a diplomatic storm when he told the media that a Russian ship that had docked at Simon’s Town in December, had sailed out from South Africa with a cargo of weapons.

Brigety’s comments elicited a widespread outcry across the nation, as concerned people scrutinised his manner of articulating his concerns. Following a meeting with Brigety, the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) reported that he expressed regret for his excessive approach in raising the matter.

The Russian embassy in South Africa issued a comprehensive statement on Tuesday, expressing its opinion on the matter. The embassy alleged that the United States was attempting to influence South Africa’s impartial position in the Ukraine conflict through Brigety’s remarks.

“Appointing guilty parties at own discretion and resorting to ‘megaphone diplomacy’ have become typical characteristics of US foreign policy. In this context, the words of the US official cannot be perceived otherwise than as an attempt to sway the independent sovereign state’s foreign policy.

“This comes as no surprise, as the US seems to have lost its ability to interact with partners on an equal basis long ago. One’s friendship with the US is only possible under US rules,” read the statement.

The embassy further charged that the establishment of a friendly relationship with the United States is contingent upon adherence to the regulations set forth by the US.

“Friends and partners note with concern that a campaign to pressure South Africa, obviously coordinated with Western mainstream media, is increasingly gaining momentum. The reason for that is the country’s non-aligned position with regard to the Ukraine conflict, which proves unsatisfactory for the United States. Yet ‘the world hegemon’ cannot punish South Africa for being ‘non-aligned’.

“Docking of Lady R in Simonstown is being used as a pretext – totally fabricated and as false as the notorious tube presented by US State Secretary Colin Powell at the United Nations Security Council, which was followed by a full-scale invasion of Iraq and cost the lives of 1 million Iraqis (we hope it won’t come to that now).”

The embassy also questioned Brigety’s failure to investigate why Russia would require arms and ammunition from South Africa that were not of the type or calibre used by their military. They also questioned how a small number of weapons and ammunition allegedly loaded onto the ship could have any impact on the battlefield.

“If Ambassador Brigety takes this matter seriously then why doesn’t he explain why Russia would need SA-produced arms and ammunition matching neither the types nor the calibres of the systems currently in service with Russia’s armed forces and how such a minuscule amount of “arms and ammunition” that was allegedly “uploaded onto the vessel” would influence the situation on the battlefield anyway?

“But what is more important – why does the US diplomat feel perfectly well about the fact that his country and its satellites have been delivering weapons to Ukraine since as long ago as 2014? The total amount of Western military supplies to Kiev regime exceeded $100 billion by 2023 and a new batch for $ 1.2 billion was approved by Washington the other day.

“Why doesn’t Ambassador Brigety say a word about these arms being used to attack cities in Donbas, as well as Bryansk and Belgorod regions of Russia daily? Why doesn’t he express concerns about these weapons ending up in the hands of terrorists in Europe and all around the world? There’s absolutely no contradiction here for US authorities, heavily dominated by double standards and hypocrisy.”

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