South Africa Criticizes U.S. Concerns Over Ties with Russia as 'Colonization'

South Africa criticizes US "colonization" over ties with Russia, highlighting tensions between global powers and countries seeking sovereignty.

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Israel Ojoko
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South Africa Criticizes U.S. Concerns Over Ties with Russia as 'Colonization'

South Africa Criticizes U.S. Concerns Over Ties with Russia as 'Colonization'

South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor has strongly criticized U.S. concerns over Pretoria's ties with Moscow, describing it as a form of "colonization." Pandor's remarks come in response to the U.S. planning laws to prevent the extension of partnerships between Russia and several countries, which the U.S. considers to be against its interests.

South Africa has maintained a non-aligned position in international relations, but its close ties with China, refusal to condemn Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and anti-Israel stance have raised concerns in the U.S. and EU. However, South Africa remains a key export destination and source of minerals for the U.S., and the U.S. has emphasized its commitment to working with South Africa to promote global peace, security, and bilateral trade.

Pandor has described a U.S. House bill calling for greater scrutiny of America's relations with South Africa as "particularly troubling," stating that it fails to acknowledge the right of all sovereign nations to develop and promote their own foreign policies. She cautioned that the bill, if passed, would be "harmful" to the mutual economic interests between the two countries.

Why this matters: South Africa's criticism of U.S. concerns over its ties with Russia highlights the complex geopolitical dynamics and competing interests among major powers. The situation emphasizes the challenges faced by countries seeking to maintain their sovereignty and pursue independent foreign policies in an increasingly polarized global landscape.

Speaking at a G77 summit in Havana, Cuba, Pandor stressed the need for the Global South to develop the ability to be "free agents" of their own development agenda. She stated that South Africa's foreign policy is designed to achieve clear objectives, such as reforming the UN Security Council and other global structures, rather than being anti-West. The U.S. has already withdrawn the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) from several southern African countries, citing a lack of democracy, which an expert described as a "euphemism" for "not doing what I want."

Key Takeaways

  • South Africa criticizes U.S. concerns over its ties with Russia as "colonization".
  • South Africa maintains non-aligned position, but its ties with China and Russia raise U.S. concerns.
  • U.S. House bill calling for scrutiny of U.S.-South Africa relations seen as "harmful" by Pandor.
  • South Africa seeks to be "free agent" in its foreign policy, aiming to reform global structures.
  • U.S. has withdrawn AGOA from some African countries, citing lack of democracy, seen as "euphemism".