South Africa to host Brics summit despite Vladimir Putin’s arrest warrant

South Africa confirmed on Sunday that it will host the next Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in August, with Vladimir Putin invited.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is theoretically supposed to arrest the Russian president, who is targeted by an International Criminal Court arrest warrant, if he enters its territory. A delicate position for Pretoria, which claims to take a neutral position.

Dilemma for Pretoria. South Africa will indeed organize the next Brics summit in August, where Vladimir Putin is invited, despite the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against the Russian head of state, confirmed on Sunday 9 July its president.

“We are making progress in organizing the Brics summit and finalizing discussions on the format,” Cyril Ramaphosa told the press, adding that this meeting, which in principle brings together South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia, would take place “physically”.

He did not comment on the presence or otherwise of Vladimir Putin’s summit, which since March has been targeted by an International Criminal Court warrant for the war crime of “deportation” of Ukrainian children since the invasion of Ukraine. , accusations that Moscow directly denies. .

South Africa currently chairs the BRICS, a group of five major emerging powers that intend to gain more influence in international institutions that have so far been dominated by the US and Europe. Their next summit, the fifteenth, is scheduled for 22-24 August in a convention center in Johannesburg.

“We will organize this Brics summit physically, we are all committed to having a summit where we can face each other,” Cyril Ramaphosa said when asked about the issue on the sidelines of a conference of his party in the ANC . “We haven’t had a physical summit in … almost three years. It’s not going to be virtual,” he said.

As a member of the ICC, South Africa is theoretically supposed to arrest the Russian president if he enters its territory. A serious diplomatic dilemma for Pretoria, which has refused to condemn Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine.

Rumors from the South African media suggested that Pretoria was considering moving the summit to China to avoid having to arrest Vladimir Putin.

Vladimir Putin “guest”

Continental diplomatic power, South Africa claims to adopt a neutral position to be able to “play a role in the resolution of conflicts”, had previously explained Cyril Ramaphosa and said that he had met several times with Vladimir Putin. His country also hosted naval exercises with Russia and China off its coast in February, raising “concern” among major Western powers.

Relations between South Africa and Russia date back to the apartheid era, when the Kremlin supported the ANC in its fight against the racist regime.

Last month, for the first time, Cyril Ramaphosa took a delegation of African heads of state (South Africa, Senegal, Democratic Republic of Congo, Egypt, Uganda) to Ukraine and then to Russia to try to move towards peace between Kiev and Moscow. The mission did not have any tangible results, but it made the voice of an African continent heard, which suffered greatly from the consequences of this conflict, especially the sharp increase in the price of grain.

The African mediation offer was rejected by Kiev, which does not want to negotiate with Moscow as long as there are still Russian soldiers on its soil, and Moscow, for its part, considered it “very difficult to implement”.

The African peace proposals were summarized in 10 points, including a “de-escalation on both sides”, the “recognition of the countries’ sovereignty” as recognized by the United Nations, the “security guarantees” for all parties, the lifting of obstacles to the export of grain via the Black Sea , “liberation of prisoners of war” as well as reconstruction after the war


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