Putin won’t attend the BRICS summit in South Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC), will not attend the BRICS summit in August, Politico reports.
The South African government said in a statement that Putin will not attend the summit, but Russia will be represented by its Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
In March, the ICC issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest. He is accused of forcibly moving Ukrainian children to the interior of Russia. The arrest warrant puts South Africa in a tight spot. On the one hand, the Republic of South Africa has historically enjoyed close relations with Russia and has refused to sever ties with the Kremlin even now. On the other hand, as a country subject to the jurisdiction of the ICC,

South Africa has also committed to its obligations and its authorities would have to arrest Putin

if he were to attend the BRICS Summit in Pretoria.
On Tuesday, the 18th of July, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa warned that Putin’s arrest would be problematic for the country, as it would amount to a “declaration of war.”
Russia’s influence in Africa has grown in recent years, also with the involvement of Wagner Group mercenaries. The Kremlin is planning a meeting with the leaders of African countries in St. Petersburg on the 27th and 28th of July.
Read also: South Africa is hesitant about membership in International Criminal Court