The warrant for the arrest of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin turns matters upside down for the South African government as a Brics summit takes place in the country in August.
The South African government, which has close ties to Russia, is faced with a diplomatic dilemma after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest.
Putin is supposed to attend the Brics summit later this year, but South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute and he is expected to be arrested once he arrives in the country.
“All heads of state will be expected to attend the summit. But now this warrant from the International Criminal Court turns things upside down,” Vincent Magwenya, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesman, said on Wednesday.
“What it determines is that there must be further discussions in terms of how it will be managed and that dialogue is ongoing. Once this is completed, the necessary announcements will be made.”
South Africa refuses to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which has largely isolated Moscow on the international stage, saying it wants to remain neutral and prefers dialogue to end the war.
South Africa also held joint military exercises with China and Russia earlier this year.
The DA requested that Putin should be arrested if he comes to South Africa and that the International Criminal Court should force the government to do so.
However, the SACP urged the government to welcome the Russian leader and instead withdraw from the International Criminal Court.
Leave a Reply