Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the BRICS Summit scheduled for August 22-24 in Johannesburg, the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced on Wednesday. The decision was made “by mutual agreement”.
Government South Africa he had previously feared that in the event of the arrival of the pursued by International Criminal Court (ICC) Vladimir Putin to the country, he will be forced to arrest him, to which he committed himself as a member of the Court. “We can’t invite someone and arrest him (…) we would be happy if (Putin) didn’t come,” explained Vice President Paul Mashatile.
Instead of Putin, the boss will go to the August meeting of the Russian Foreign Ministry Sergey Lavrov. Initially, the Kremlin rejected the South African government’s proposal that Lavrov head the Russian delegation.
The leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa will be present at the August summit, the president’s office confirmed on Wednesday. These four countries and Russia are part of the BRICS.
South Africa did not condemn the invasion of Ukraine, saying it wanted to remain neutral and preferred dialogue to end the war. Earlier this year, it conducted joint military exercises with Russia and China, which observers considered as evidence of pro-Kremlin sympathies of the country’s authorities.
Main photo source: kremlin.ru