South African presidency has defended the decision to grant clearance to an ally of Russian president Vladimir Putin to dock his luxury yacht on their shores.
Alexei Mordashov, who is believed to belong to the inner circle of Putin is owner of one of the world’s largest steel businesses.
The ship, which is sailing from Hong Kong is expected to dock in Cape Town according to reports.
South Africa’s presidency dismissed protests from Cape Town mayor, Geordin Lewis-Hill, who believes the country risks positioning itself as a supporter of Russian aggression on Ukraine with the move.
Mordashov is part of Russians who are under US-sanctions over the Ukrainian war because of their perceived closeness with the Russian president.
Presidency spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said South Africa was only legally obliged to follow sanctions imposed by the UN, not individual countries or trade blocs.
He said that unless Mordashov violated the country’s immigration laws, South Africa had no reason to refuse him entry – like any other business person.
Magwenya added that “he is not being given any special treatment”.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK