Russia Warns South Africa It Will Consider Putin’s Arrest At BRICS Summit ‘Declaration Of War’

Russia has threatened South Africa with war if President Vladimir Putin is arrested under an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant at the BRICS summit, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in an affidavit, Bloomberg writes.

“South Africa has obvious problems complying with its request to arrest and extradite Putin. Russia has made it clear that arresting its president would be a declaration of war,” he said.

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 reminded that according to the law the management board is obliged protect “national sovereignty” and ensure “peace and security in the republic”.

Ramaphosa also stressed that Putin’s arrest would undermine the South African-led mission to end the war in Ukraine and “rule out any peaceful solution.”

The president testified before the Gauteng High Court in connection with a lawsuit by the opposition Democratic Alliance, which sought to order the government to comply with a warrant for Putin’s arrest. Ramaphos he wanted his testimony to remain confidential, but the court ordered it to be made public.

Earlier, the South African authorities tried several times to dissuade Putin from going to the BRICS summit that will take place on the territory of the republic on August 22-24. Last time Ramaphosa asked the Kremlin to send Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov instead of the president, but he was refused. Negotiations on the format of Putin’s participation are underway.

“We understand that we are bound by the Rome Statute (the main document regulating the work of the ICC. – TMT). But we can’t invite someone and then arrest them. You can understand our dilemma. We will be happy if Putin will not come,” said South African Vice President Paul Mashatile.

Trying to get out of the situation, the authorities of the republic proposed to move the summit to China, but India and Brazil refused them. The idea of ​​organizing the event in a virtual format did not suit the four BRICS members.

The Kremlin has not yet confirmed that Putin will go to the summit. RThe case was shelved after Wagner PMC leader Yevgeny Prigozhin rebelled over fears of internal destabilization and a coup d’état, three Russian officials told The Moscow Times.

According to one of them, the Kremlin and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are preparing two basic scenarios for Russia’s participation in the BRICS summit: the first with Putin, the second – the president remains in Moscow and talks via videoconference, but the delegation of officials still flies to South Africa.


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