South Africa

Ramaphosa and Putin hold talks

Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke with his South African counterpart Cyril Ramaphosa about the planned BRICS summit in Johannesburg amid uncertainty over whether he’ll be able to avoid arrest for alleged war crimes if he attends the meeting.

The two leaders “touched upon” preparations for the gathering in August as well as next month’s planned Russia-Africa summit in St. Petersburg in the phone call, according to a Kremlin statement Wednesday that didn’t say whether Putin intended to go to South Africa.

The Russian president also agreed to receive a delegation of leaders from African states to discuss their initiative to resolve the war in Ukraine, it said.

South Africa has invited Putin, along with the leaders of Brazil, India and China to the BRICS summit, though people familiar with the matter said it’s weighing whether to switch the venue to another country to resolve the dilemma over the arrest warrant.

As a signatory to the International Criminal Court, which in March accused Putin of war crimes linked to the invasion of Ukraine, South Africa would be obliged to execute the warrant if he travels to the country.


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