Putin to Be Arrested by the ICC If He Goes to South Africa for BRICS Summit

Russian President Vladimir Putin might have to sit out this year’s BRICS Summit in South Africa. Pretoria recently confirmed that it would have “no option not to arrest Putin” following the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court last March.

South Africa has so far refused to support sanctions against Russia since it began its invasion of Ukraine. But, as a signatory of the Rome Statute, it is obliged to comply with the decisions of the ICC. The ICC issued an arrest warrant for the Russian dictator on March 17, accusing Putin of illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia since February 24, 2022.

President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier said that the ruling party, African National Congress, intended to end its membership in the ICC but quickly took it back after its foreign ministry warned that ignoring the warrant would be in breach of the country’s international obligations as well as some of its own laws. 

The Sunday Times noted that the country’s failure to arrest former Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir in 2016 was “ruled unconstitutional by the country’s most senior judges.”

“There is no option not to arrest Putin — if he comes here, we have to arrest him,” a senior government official told South Africa’s Sunday Times. “The only option we have is for him to connect via Teams or Zoom from Moscow.”

The BRICS Summit is a gathering of the leaders of the bloc of emerging economies composed of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. The 15th edition of the gathering will be held in Durban, South Africa in August.

Among the bloc, South Africa was also the only country apart from Russia that did not agree to the United Nations General Assembly resolution that calls for greater cooperation between the UN and the Council of Europe. The resolution’s preamble references Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and Georgia. Russia voted against it, South Africa abstained, but all other BRICS nations voted in favor.

Information for this story was found via Sunday Times, the UNGA, Twitter, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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