Sunday Times: South Africa’s government asks Putin not to come to BRICS Summit because of his ICC arrest warrant

South Africa’s authorities have asked Russian President Vladimir Putin not to come to the country to participate in the upcoming BRICS Summit, Sunday Times reports, citing sources.

According to the outlet, the South African government is currently negotiating with the Kremlin. They are asking for Putin to participate in the summit via Zoom and not in person, so they do not have to arrest him because of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant issued against him.

“We have no option not to arrest Putin. If he comes here, we will be forced to detain him,” one of the sources told Sunday Times.

The summit that will take place in Durban is planned for August. The leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, and China are invited.

On 17 March, the Hague International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. The Russian president is “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”, as per the court’s statement.

On 25 April, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that the ruling party of the country decided to pull out from the International Criminal Court. The next day, the country’s administration clarified that the president’s words were erroneous.

“South Africa remains a signatory to the Rome Statute and will continue to campaign for equal and consistent application of international law,” the statement reads.

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