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Russian President Vladimir Putin To Not Attend BRICS Summit: South Africa

Putin was invited to the BRICS Summit this year. However, as South Africa, host of the event, is a signatory to the International Criminal Court, Putin is liable to an arrest if he leaves Russian soil.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
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Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend next month’s summit of BRICS leaders, South Africa’s presidency said on Wednesday. The decision was taken by mutual agreement. The development comes amid speculations about whether Putin may be arrested if he visits the country for the international meeting.

"By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the summit, but the Russian Federation will be represented by Foreign Minister Mr (Sergei) Lavrov," Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa, said in a statement.

The Russian President was invited to the BRICS Summit, slated for August this year. The African nation has been in jeopardy over the invite sent to Putin as President Ramaphosa said that an arrest would mean "a declaration of war" against Russia.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague had issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights following an investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in March this year. The ICC alleged their responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation and transfer of children during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

As South Africa -- host of the five-nation event -- is a signatory to the ICC, Putin is liable to an arrest if he leaves Russian soil.

South Africa’s biggest political opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has tried to compel President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government to pledge to arrest Putin in an action before the High Court in Pretoria.

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