South Africa believes Putin should not attend the BRICS summit.

South Africa believes Putin should not attend the BRICS summit.

South Africa believes Putin should not attend the BRICS summit. South Africa announced on Wednesday that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not participate in the BRICS summit in August, ending months of speculation as to whether the country would detain him on an international warrant.

As a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) that issued the warrant in March, South Africa was obligated to apprehend Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes committed by Russia during its invasion of Ukraine.

In place of Putin, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will attend the Johannesburg summit on August 22–24, alongside the leaders of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa, according to a statement from the South African presidency.

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The announcement followed consultations between South African President Cyril Ramaphosa and party leaders from the BRICS group of emerging economies on Tuesday evening.

The Kremlin announced that Putin would participate in the BRICS summit via video teleconference.  The International Criminal Court accuses Putin of committing the war crime of unlawfully expelling children from Ukraine.

Moscow has stated that the warrant is invalid because Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court. It has not concealed a program that has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. Still, it presents it as a humanitarian effort to safeguard orphans and abandoned children in the conflict zone.

A court filing on Tuesday revealed that Ramaphosa had asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) for permission not to arrest Vladimir Putin because doing so would constitute a declaration of war and could derail African efforts to end the conflict.


South Africa claims to be neutral in the Ukraine conflict. Still, Western powers have criticized it for being friendly to Russia, a staunch ally of the apartheid government’s African National Congress.

Andre Thomashausen, emeritus professor of international law at the University of South Africa, speculated that Putin’s absence might indicate that the BRICS summit will not be as revolutionary as some had anticipated.

Some BRICS nations viewed the summit as an opportunity to find a currency that could compete with the U.S. dollar, but Thomashausen stated that this was no longer probable.

In South Africa, there were varied reactions to Putin’s absence.

Lunga Tshabalala, a resident of Johannesburg, described it as “a positive for a large number of people… who do not believe we need the alliance with Russia.”

Others, such as Mahlatse Makgoba, disapproved, arguing that South Africa could benefit economically from robust relations with Russia.

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