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Foreign Policy Crisis for Cyril Ramaphosa’s Government over Ties to Kremlin 

The US has accused South Africa of supplying arms to Russia in a covert naval operation, escalating a foreign policy crisis for President Cyril Ramaphosa over the country’s ties to the Kremlin and position on the Ukraine war. Reuben Brigety, US ambassador to South Africa, told local media on Thursday that the US believed weapons and ammunition were loaded on to the Lady R, a Russian vessel under sanctions that docked at Simon’s Town naval dockyard near Cape Town in December. Brigety also said that senior US officials had “profound concerns” about the incident, which “does not suggest to us the actions of a non-aligned country”. The state department said the US had raised the issue directly with South African officials. Ramaphosa’s office responded by saying an independent inquiry would be set up under a retired judge to look into the allegations. It also said talks had been held between South African and US officials over the vessel and an agreement to allow investigations to continue.