New details have emerged about Russian military exercises that have upset Western sentiment

South Africa, like any independent and sovereign country, has the right to conduct its external relations in accordance with its diplomatic relations and national interests.

– South Africa’s Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs said in a statement on Monday. The purpose of the exercises, the statement said, is to “further strengthen the strong relations between South Africa, Russia and China”.

The ministry said it had conducted similar military exercises with the United States, the United Kingdom and France without provoking this level of international reaction.

The outcry over the exercises, which began on February 17, occurred on the country’s east coast while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was holding talks with his South African counterpart in the country on Monday, while US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen arrived in the country. Tuesday.

Contrary to the claims of our critics, South Africa is not abandoning its neutral stance regarding the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Ministry announced.

We remain firm in our view that pluralism and dialogue are the keys to launching sustainable international peace.

Although South Africa’s ruling African National Congress has historical ties to Russia, which supported the struggle against apartheid, the two countries have little economic ties.

Cover photo: Bernd Wüstneck / picture alliance via Getty Images

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