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Putin pulls out of BRICS summit

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The Presidency has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the 15th summit of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) in South Africa in August.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. File picture: Yevgeny Biyatov RIA Novosti via Reuters

JOHANNESBURG – The Presidency has confirmed that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the 15th summit of the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa).

The announcement on Wednesday comes after the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, on Tuesday ordered the release of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s confidential affidavit that he filed in response to the DA’s application calling for Putin’s arrest if he arrived in South Africa for the BRICS summit in August.

“By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the summit, but the Russian Federation will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov,” said Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya.

He said that in due course, a comprehensive statement on the substantive issues to be covered at the summit and other related foreign policy matters will be issued.

“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,” Magwenya said.

He said Ramaphosa has confirmed South Africa’s readiness to host the historic event.

It will be the first BRICS summit to be hosted in person since the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent global restrictions.

Magwenya said Ramaphosa had, in recent months and weeks, held a number of consultations on the hosting of the summit. The president’s most recent consultation in this regard took place on Tuesday night at the BRICS Political Party Dialogue in Gauteng.

The summit will be attended by the leaders of Brazil, India, China, and South Africa.

Ramaphosa’s confidential affidavit revealed that South Africa told the International Criminal Court that it had issues executing the warrant of arrest for Putin and that it could not risk South Africa going to war with Russia.

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