BARRED: Embattled Russia President Valdamir Putin To Miss BRICS Summit In South Africa

Russian President Putin (R) and South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa in an earlier meeting PHOTO/NEWS24.COM


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa [SHIFTMEDIANEWS] South African President Cyril Ramaphosa asked Russian President Vladimir Putin not to attend the BRICS summit but could not announce Putin’s non-attendance before receiving support from the Chinese and Indian heads of state.

Ramaphosa, in a supplementary affidavit filed in the Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, said it was “moot” for the DA to continue its application to compel the government to state whether it would have executed the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant on Putin.

This followed the Russian president saying he would not attend the Johannesburg summit next month.

According to South Africa’s News,Ramaphosa’s supplementary statement was filed on Tuesday before Wednesday’s announcement Putin would not attend by “mutual agreement”.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March for alleged war crimes in Russia’s war with Ukraine that began in February last year.

In his affidavit, Ramaphosa said he first asked Putin not to attend Africa’s Ukraine-Russia peace summit on 19 June, and the Russian leader said he would “apply his mind” to the request.

Three days later, Ramaphosa added he met with Brazil President Lula da Silva at the Global Financing Pact summit in Paris, France, and lobbied South Africa’s position that Putin does not attend the BRICS summit, expected to run from 22 to 24 August.

He stated:

At this meeting [with Da Silva], the president of Brazil agreed that the preferred option, being that President Putin would not attend the [BRICS] summit in person, had his support.

Ramaphosa said the BRICS formation worked on “a consensus” and buy-in had to be sought and received from all five member countries before a decision was taken.

“I believe that in these circumstances the DA’s application is moot and must be withdrawn,” he added.

READ | Putin putout: Crisis averted as Russia says President Vladimir Putin will join BRICS summit virtually

On Thursday, News24 reported the DA was forging ahead with its application, despite Putin saying he would not attend.

The party’s leader, John Steenhuisen, said it sought a declaratory order for this saga not to repeat itself.

Steenhuisen added:

[We] believe that we will continue to court because we believe that the obligation of [the] government needs to be confirmed and because we would like the precedent to be set for any future situations such as this that may [arise].

On Thursday, Department of International Relations and Cooperation spokesperson Clayson Monyela said the government knew for a month Putin would not physically attend the summit.

Monyela added the delay was due to the ironing out of diplomatic issues.

Ramaphosa had consulted BRICS member state leaders of China, Russia, and India.

The president told the court by Tuesday, the department had not managed to arrange a meeting with China President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Ramaphosa asked the court to keep his supplementary affidavit confidential so as not to jeopardise the negotiations and consensus-seeking efforts.

The department’s director-general, Zane Dangor, in his confirmatory affidavit, told the court contacting BRICS heads of state was “time consuming and difficult to arrange” owing to the leaders’ schedules.

“Such consultations are always complex, and there is nothing unique about the amount of work needed to arrange them, or the time it takes to finalise such discussions with five heads of state,” Dangor said, adding the consultations were finalised on Tuesday.

Shift Media News

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