South Africa announces that Putin will not go to the BRICS summit and avoids having to arrest him after months of controversy

The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has confirmed this Wednesday that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, will not attend the summit of the group of emerging economies BRICS next August, after months of controversy over the international arrest warrant that weighs on the president of Russia

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“By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the summit, but the country will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,” the South African Presidency said in a statement. The meeting will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa.

As a member state of the International Criminal Court (ICC), South Africa, which will host the BRICS summit on August 22-24 in Johannesburg, is obligated to cooperate in Putin’s arrest, but the country had so far avoided disclosing how would he proceed if the Russian leader Russia landed on his territory.

“War declaration”

Ramaphosa refused to arrest his Russian counterpart because it would be like a “declaration of war” against Russia, the Gauteng (north) High Court reported on Tuesday, which published a statement by the president.

“It would be contrary to our Constitution to risk going to war with Russia,” Ramaphosa said in responding to a lawsuit filed by South Africa’s main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (AD), seeking a “declaratory order” guaranteeing the Putin’s arrest.

South Africa claims to have taken a neutral stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine, and has called for dialogue and diplomacy to resolve the conflict. This position is not only linked to the strategic, political and economic role that Moscow has in some African countries, but also to historical reasons, such as Russian support for the anti-colonial and liberation movements of the 20th century, such as the fight against the segregationist regime. of “apartheid”.

Brazil, Russia, India and China created the BRIC group in 2006, which was joined by South Africa in 2010, adding the letter S to the acronym.

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