Vladimir Putin will not be present at the BRICS conference in South Africa next month, putting a stop to months of rumors about his attendance.
Putin received a formal invitation to the Brics summit, which will be held in Johannesburg from August 22 to 24.
According to a statement from President Cyril Ramaphosa spokesman Vincent Magwenya, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the summit. Putin’s probable visit has presented South Africa with tough diplomatic challenges.
Foreign Minister Mr. Sergey Lavrov will represent the Russian Federation.The choice was made as a result of several consultations Ramaphosa held recently.
For alleged war crimes, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest order for Putin in March.
Additionally, despite having an ICC warrant out for the then-leader of Sudan, Omar al-Bashir, South Africa failed to apprehend him in 2015.
Ramaphosa claimed that his arrest would have amounted to a declaration of war against Russia in court documents made public on Tuesday.
Pretoria has long claimed it wishes to remain impartial about the conflict in Ukraine, but detractors have charged it of favoring Moscow.
Some pointed out that inviting Putin may have been interpreted as an endorsement of Russia, endangering South Africa’s robust commercial and trade ties with the US and Europe.
In South Africa, the issue sparked a heated discussion regarding whether the warrant would be carried out.
The Brics group is currently chaired by South Africa.
President Ramaphosa is confident that the Summit will be a success and calls on the nation to extend the necessary hospitality to the many delegates who will arrive from various parts of the continent and the globe.
Next week, Ramaphosa is scheduled to fly to Russia to attend a conference between Russia and Africa in Saint Petersburg.