Kremlin confirms Putin’s refusal to attend BRICS summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the BRICS summit in South Africa, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“President Putin has decided to attend the summit in videoconference format,” Peskov told Interfax.

“It will be a rightful participation,” he assured, adding that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov would go to Johannesburg instead of the president.

Earlier, Putin’s refusal to go to South Africa, where he was threatened with arrest by the decision of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, was reported by the office of the president of the republic, Cyril Ramaphosa. As the Ramaphosa press service assured, the decision was agreed with the Russian side.

South Africa has ratified the Rome Statute, the founding document under which the ICC operates. And the authorities simply do not have the “option not to arrest” Putin if he comes to the summit, he complained in early May, a South African official told The Sunday Times.

The South African authorities first privately and then publicly asked the Russian president not to attend the event and limit himself to video calls. “We’ll be happy if he doesn’t come” decided July 14 Vice President of the Republic Paul Mashatile.

All invited participants of the summit will receive diplomatic immunity, but this does not apply to arrest warrants issued by any international tribunal, South Africa’s foreign ministry has previously warned.

By words The president of the republic, Cyril Ramaphosa of Russia, made it clear that Putin’s arrest would be considered a “declaration of war”. Ramaphosa pointed out that South Africa cannot and does not want to wage war with Russia, and the risk of conflict is “unconstitutional” for that country. He recalled that according to the law, the leadership is obliged to protect “national sovereignty” and ensure “peace and security in the republic.”


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