South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in documents released Tuesday that the arrest of Vladimir Putin would be tantamount to declaring war on Russia, in the midst of a national debate over The country’s reception of the Russian President to participate in the BRICS summit.
Putin was invited to the BRICS summit, which includes, in addition to South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia, and is currently chaired by Pretoria and hosted by Johannesburg from August 22 to 24.
But the Russian president has been targeted since March by an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court on charges of committing a war crime by “deporting” Ukrainian children since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, which Moscow denies.
As a member of the International Criminal Court, In theory, South Africa should arrest the Russian president if he enters its territory.
This poses a serious diplomatic dilemma for Pretoria, which has refused to condemn Moscow since the start of its military operation in Ukraine.
The case took a legal turn as the Democratic Alliance Party, the main opposition party in South Africa, took legal action to force the government to arrest Putin and hand him over to the International Criminal Court if he entered the country.
In an affidavit, Ramaphosa described the PDA’s request as “irresponsible”.
He wrote, “Russia has clearly declared that any arrest of its current president would be tantamount to a declaration of war. It would not be consistent with our constitution to risk involving the country in a war with Russia,” considering that it was his duty to protect the country.
South Africa is trying to obtain an exception from the laws of the International Criminal Court on the grounds that Putin’s arrest may threaten “the security, peace and order of the state,” as Ramaphosa explained in this text signed in June, which the court decided to publish after it was secret.
In a recent interview with local media, South African Vice President Paul Machatele said his government had tried to persuade Vladimir Putin not to attend. without succeeding so far.
The BRICS group aims to find a balance in terms of global governance structures dominated by the United States and the European Union.
South Africa is hosting the 15th BRICS Summit at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.
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