South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the BRICS summit in person, despite an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). Speculations arose that the event could be held virtually due to the warrant.
During a meeting of the BRICS Business Council in Sandton, Ramaphosa assured attendees that the summit would be held live rather than online. Stavros Nicoalou, the head of the BRICS Business Council, also confirmed that all heads of state from the five BRICS nations would be attending the gathering in South Africa in August.
Contrary to rumors, Ramaphosa emphasized that the summit would be a face-to-face meeting, allowing for direct interactions between the leaders. According to reports from Kyiv Post, at least 22 heads of state have already confirmed their attendance at the summit, which is scheduled to take place in Johannesburg.
The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Putin regarding the deportation of Ukrainian children. If Putin were to arrive in South Africa, it would require the South African authorities to arrest him.
BRICS, an acronym coined by Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill, represents the emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
Despite the arrest warrant, Ramaphosa’s insistence on Putin’s attendance at the BRICS summit highlights the commitment to the summit’s face-to-face format and the importance of diplomatic engagements among the participating nations. The situation surrounding Putin’s potential arrest adds an element of complexity and will likely be closely monitored by international observers.