South Africa consulting on ICC over Vladmir Putin arrest warrant ahead of BRICS Summit




Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, talks with South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa during a plenary session at the Russia-Africa summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Thursday, Oct. 24, 2019 (Valery Sharifulin, TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)

JOHANNESBURG – South Africa says it remained in touch with all the key stakeholders in the Ukraine-Russia conflict after the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Brics summit in the country in August.

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said while they noted the warrant issued by the ICC the country maintained that the conflict in Ukraine can be resolved through peaceful means.

This is the position that has been taken by South Africa since the conflict began in February last year.

Magwenya said between now and the summit it would be in touch with all key stakeholders.

“With respect to the ICC we note the report on the warrant of arrest that the ICC has issued against President Putin. It remains South Africa’s commitment and a very strong desire that the conflict in the Ukraine is resolved peacefully through negotiations. We as a government are cognisant of our legal obligation. However, between now and the summit we will remain engaged with relevant stakeholders with respect to the summit and other issues related,” said Magwenya.

South Africa was caught up in a similar situation in 2015 when it did not arrest former president of Sudan Omar al-Bashir when he was attending the African Union summit in Johannesburg.

Political parties went to court to challenge the government for not arresting Al-Bashir, who was later toppled in his country.

Putin is expected to attend the Brics summit with President Xi Jinping of China, Lula da Silva of Brazil and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Xi is also set to meet Putin this week in his first visit to Moscow since invasion of Ukraine.




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