Support The Moscow Times!

Moscow Rejects S.Africa’s Request Not to Send Putin to BRICS Summit

Deputy President of South Africa Paul Mashatile. Phill Magakoe / AFP

Russia turned down a request by South Africa not to send President Vladimir Putin to next month’s BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa’s deputy president told local media Friday.

Earlier, Russian officials told The Moscow Times that Putin’s attendance remained uncertain in the face of an International Criminal Court (ICC) indictment over the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children and the fallout from the Wagner mercenary group’s mutiny.

South Africa is required to arrest Putin if he travels there as a signatory of the Rome Statute that governs the ICC.

“We understand we are bound by the Rome Statute but we can’t invite someone and then you arrest them. You can understand our dilemma,” South African Deputy President Paul Mashatile told Mail & Guardian.

“We would be happy if he [Putin] doesn’t come,” he said.

South Africa’s rejected proposal was for Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to lead Russia’s delegation at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg on Aug. 22-24 instead of Putin.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has vowed to hold an in-person summit despite the ICC warrant against Putin.

Mashatile said that Brazil, India, China and South Africa opposed holding the BRICS summit virtually, while India and Brazil rejected moving the 2023 summit to China.

A Kremlin-linked official told The Moscow Times that South Africa provided “security guarantees” for Putin during Ramaphosa’s visit to St. Petersburg in June.

Moscow said Friday the format of the upcoming BRICS summit was still being worked out.

South Africa has not condemned Russia’s 2022 invasion of Ukraine, saying it remains impartial and prefers dialogue as it spearheads an African initiative to resolve the conflict.

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more