South African hosts of the upcoming BRICS summit in Johannesburg have announced that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be attending the event in August.
The decision comes amid concerns that if Mr. Putin were present, South Africa, as a signatory to the International Criminal Court (ICC), would be obliged to arrest him. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russia’s president in March.
As a member of the ICC, South Africa is bound by international law to cooperate with the court’s arrest warrants. However, this obligation has put the country in a delicate position, as it could have led to potential diplomatic tensions if Mr. Putin attended the summit and South Africa had to consider enforcing the arrest warrant.
In response to this dilemma, President Cyril Ramaphosa formally requested permission from the ICC on Tuesday to waive the requirement to arrest Mr. Putin during the BRICS summit. The request seeks to navigate the delicate diplomatic situation while ensuring adherence to international legal obligations.
The BRICS summit is an essential meeting for leaders of the emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to discuss key global issues and strengthen cooperation among member nations. With President Putin’s absence from the gathering, the focus will be on the discussions and resolutions concerning critical economic and political matters affecting the BRICS countries.