Home International Kremlin says it did not tell SA that Putin arrest would mean...

Kremlin says it did not tell SA that Putin arrest would mean war

248

Russia did not tell South Africa that arresting President Vladimir Putin on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court would mean “war”, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. File picture: Sputnik, Alexander Kazakov, Kremlin via Reuters

MOSCOW – Russia did not tell South Africa that arresting President Vladimir Putin on an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) would mean “war”, the Kremlin said on Wednesday.

Shortly after the Kremlin’s comments, South Africa said that Putin would not attend a summit of the BRICS group of nations in South Africa in August “by mutual agreement”.

The ICC has accused Putin and his children’s commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova of the war crime of deporting children from Ukraine to Russia, something Moscow rejects as false.

A local court submission published on Tuesday had shown that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had asked permission from the ICC not to arrest Putin in the context of the BRICS summit because to do so would amount to a declaration of war.

Speaking before South Africa said Putin would not be attending, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that everyone understood – without having it explained to them – what an attempt to infringe on Putin’s rights would mean.

“No, no such formulations were uttered, no one gave anyone to understand that,” said Peskov when asked about any warning from Russia about the possibility of war if Putin was arrested.

“It is clear to everyone in this world what an attempt to infringe on the rights of the head of the Russian State means. So there is no need to explain anything to anyone here.”

South Africa’s presidency said on Wednesday that Putin will not attend the summit of the BRICS group of emerging economies in South Africa in August “by mutual agreement”.

Russia will instead be represented by its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the Johannesburg summit, alongside the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa, the presidency said in a statement.

South Africa faced a dilemma in hosting the summit because, as a member of the ICC, it would theoretically be required to arrest Putin for alleged war crimes if he were to attend.

The ICC in March issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting children from Ukraine.

Moscow has said the warrant is legally void as Russia is not a member of the ICC.

Russia has not concealed a programme under which it has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but presents it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphans and children abandoned in the war zone.

– REUTERS

Previous articleWill it work to move RG Snyman from ‘Bomb Squad’ to run on Springbok No.5?
Next articleTo be part of Proteas for home Netball World Cup a dream come true for Jeanté Strydom