South Africa: US sanctions against Russia will punish Africa
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa condemns the anti-Russia sanctions against Moscow's activities in Africa, which will potentially disrupt the livelihoods of African peoples.
The US Congress is examining a new draft bill that would impose new sanctions against Russia - however, this time, rather than it being against its activities in Ukraine, it is targeting Moscow's activities in Africa. The bill was passed in April by the House of Representatives, and has now reached the Senate.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, speaking to the US Congressional Balck Caucus, argued that the new draft bill would actually risk punishing the entire continent.
"If the Countering Malign Russia Activities [in Africa] bill were to become a US law, the law could have the unintended consequence of punishing the African continent for efforts to advance development and growth," Ramaphosa said on Friday.
He slammed US lawmakers' weaving of anti-Russian sanctions, remarking that it is disappointing that the lawmakers crafted the anti-Russia legislation at a time when US President Joe Biden is claiming to seek to engage African countries on the basis of respect for their independence and sovereignty.
Furthermore, he argued that Washington and Moscow are strategic partners for South Africa, a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy.
In April, South Africa abstained from voting on a resolution suspending Russia from the UN Human Rights Council over the war in Ukraine.
Ramaphosa, whose government has been criticized for refusing to condemn Moscow's special military operation in Ukraine, had a day earlier described the UN Security Council as "outdated" and in dire need of an overhaul.
Hours later, South Africa was among the 58 countries that abstained from voting on the UN General Assembly resolution that suspended Russia from the Human Rights Council.
It was the third time South Africa abstained from voting on resolutions adopted over the war in Ukraine.