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Johannesburg — The station will celebrate its first anniversary next month Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, South Africa to receive Russian and Chinese troops for joint naval exercises. The timing of the drill, which appears to have been planned amid Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unilateral attack on Ukraine, has the United States “concerned” that as the world enters a brutal year of war, at least South Africa will It will present a diplomatic challenge.There is no end in sight.

The South African Defense Force said Exercise Moshi II will be held from 17 to 27 February on the country’s Indian Ocean coast to share “operational skills and knowledge”.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor deflected criticism this week of the looming military drills, saying they were just “exercises with friends”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in South Africa
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (left) meets with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor during an official visit to Pretoria, South Africa, January 23, 2023.

Ihsaan Haffejee/Anadolu Agency/Getty


Veteran Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who met with Pandor on Monday, said the military exercises were “transparent and the three countries provided all relevant information.”

Russian state news agency TASS said Russian warships armed with new-generation hypersonic cruise weapons will participate in the exercises.

“It’s not a last-minute decision,” said Pauline Backes, deputy director for Africa at the International Crisis Group, as the exercise had been planned for months. But she added that “diplomatically, it was very awkward and South Africa could push to another date,” on the anniversary of the invasion of Ukraine.

David Feldman, a spokesman for the US Embassy in South Africa, told CBS, “Joint naval exercises with Russia and China in February, despite Moscow’s continuing brutal and illegal war of aggression against Ukraine. We are concerned about South Africa’s plans to conduct News for remarks by senior South African and Russian diplomats.

South Africa Russia
A photo released by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Service shows South African President Cyril Ramaphosa (right) and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a meeting in Pretoria, South Africa, January 23, 2023.

Press service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia via AP


All three countries participating in the exercise are members of the BRICS mechanism, a partnership of five of the world’s fastest growing developing countries: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. According to the group’s own description, it aims to promote peace, security, development and cooperation.

Although not a military alliance like NATO, there have been talks of possible BRICS naval exercises for years. A similar exercise among the three countries was held in Cape Town in October 2019.

In a statement, the Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs said 350 South African Defense Force personnel would take part in the exercises, noting that in recent months the SANDF has conducted military exercises with a number of other countries, including Britain, China and Nigeria. pointed out.Like America last year

“South Africa sees Exercise Moshi II as an opportunity to contribute to further strengthening the strong ties that exist between South Africa, Russia and China,” the statement said.

SAFRICA-RUSSIA-UKARAINE-POLITICS-Demonstration
Members of the Ukrainian community in South Africa hold up placards during a protest during the visit of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Bureau of International Relations and Cooperation in Pretoria, South Africa, 23 January 2023.

AFP via Getty


The South African Air Force and the Military Health Service join the South African Defense Forces Marine Corps for the exercise, along with Joint Operations, Defense Intelligence Agency, Defense Foreign Relations Service and Gendarmerie. Officials told CBS News that a number of naval activities are planned, with a maritime phase scheduled for two days starting Feb. 25 that will include search and rescue, ships in distress, gunnery, troop protection and air defense exercises. said.

South Africa specifically abstained from the last UN vote on a resolution condemning Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, choosing to declare its neutral stance on the war despite intense pressure from Ukraine and its Western partners.

Bucks of the International Crisis Group said the military exercises themselves appeared relatively unremarkable.South Africa is a member of the BRICS, and the three countries have previously held similar war games to explore ways to work together. But she said diplomatically receiving Lavrov this week was “a little trickier than naval exercises.”

“South Africa is showing its own direction and has not decided which side to take, but it shows that Russia still has friends in the world,” Bucks said.


Ukrainian army digs in for winter defense

03:04

The Democratic League, the country’s largest opposition party, called the exercise “ridiculous”, adding parliamentarian Covas Marais: [the political party in power] He made his prejudice against Russia clear,” he said.

An opinion piece in the Daily Maverick said the exercises “show how far the country has strayed from its relations with its Western allies.”

So why do South African leaders continue to seek strategic alliances with other powers, at the risk of “deviant” from their longtime partners? They need all the help they can get. It may be just that.

race to the rescue

South Africa faces severe energy shortages and is suffering from the worst rolling blackouts in history. Once TVs could be turned on, many people tuned in to watch the visiting parade of world leaders, and one of them offered some help in dealing with their country’s power crisis. I hope you will.

A person recently called a local talk show and told the host:

US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in South Africa on Tuesday to discuss the power crisis, among other topics, during a four-day working trip to various parts of the country.


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen Visits Africa as U.S. Aims to Improve Relations with Continent

06:28

“We will continue to broaden and deepen our relationship with South Africa and work to expand trade, ensure a just energy transition, and support life-saving global efforts that are of paramount concern to our citizens,” Feldman said at the U.S. Embassy. We are working on cooperation for better health,” he said. His CBS News on President Yellen’s visit.

The U.S. Treasury secretary arrived in South Africa hot following Russia’s Foreign Minister Lavrov, who met with South Africa’s foreign minister on Monday during his second visit to Africa since Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. .

A Russian reporter traveling with Lavrov heard from a local journalist that Russia’s top diplomat will be returning in February for another tour.

China’s new Foreign Minister Qin Gang visited five African countries last week, and President Yellen and UN Ambassador Linda Thomas Greenfield visited the African continent this week. Efforts to counter years of heavy investment and outreach From Beijing and Moscow to African countries.


China seeks to expand its political and economic influence across Africa

06:50

At a press conference in Moscow on January 18, Lavrov confirmed that his country will host the second Russia-Africa summit on July 23 in St. Petersburg. Circumvent US sanctions imposed on the war in Ukraine, including trade conducted in non-US currencies.

“We are drafting a document to reset the cooperation mechanism in this environment of sanctions and threats that you mentioned in the context of this US bill,” he said. “There will be new trade and investment cooperation tools, logistics chains and payment arrangements. Changes to trading in national currencies are underway.”

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Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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