South Africa confirmed on Sunday that it will organize the next Brics (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit in August, where Vladimir Putin is invited. As a member of the ICC, South Africa is theoretically supposed to arrest the Russian president, targeted by an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court, if he entered its territory. A delicate position for Pretoria, which claims to adopt 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 July 9 its president.
“We are making progress in organizing the Brics summit and finalizing the 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 not at the summit of Vladimir Putin, targeted since March by a warrant from the International Criminal Court for the war crime of “deportation” of Ukrainian children since the invasion of Ukraine. , accusations that Moscow rejects outright.
South Africa currently chairs the BRICS, a group of five major emerging powers which intends to have more influence in international institutions hitherto dominated by the United States and Europe. Their next summit, the fifteenth, is scheduled for August 22-24 at a convention center in Johannesburg.
“We are going to organize this Brics summit physically, we are all committed to having a summit where we can look each other in the eye,” said Cyril Ramaphosa, who was questioned on the subject on the sidelines of a conference of his party in the ANC. “We haven’t held a physical summit for…almost three years. It won’t 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 carried by the South African media indicated 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, saying he had met several times with Vladimir Putin. His country also hosted naval exercises with Russia and China off its coast in February, arousing the “concern” of the major Western powers.
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Ties between South Africa and Russia date back to the apartheid era, with the Kremlin supporting the ANC in the fight against the racist regime.
Last month, Cyril Ramaphosa took for the first time 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 tangible results, but it made the voice of an African continent heard, which suffered greatly from the consequences of this conflict, in particular the sharp increase in the price of cereals.
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, among which a “de-escalation on both sides”, the “recognition of the sovereignty” of the countries as recognized by the UN, the “security guarantees” for all parties, the lifting of obstacles to the export of grain via the Black Sea, the “liberation of prisoners of war”, as well as post-war reconstruction
Source: France 24