Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend a summit of BRICS countries in Johannesburg set for next month, South Africa’s president has confirmed in a statement.
“By mutual agreement, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will not attend the Summit but the Russian Federation will be represented by (its) Foreign Minister, Mr Sergey Lavrov,” said a statement on Wednesday from the office of President Cyril Ramaphosa.
This March the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin, who was expected to attend the BRICS meeting on August 22-23. South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute, which established the court.
BRICS is a bloc of emerging economies, with its name coming from the first letters of the countries Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa.
The leaders of all the countries but Russia will all be in attendance.
South Africa has been under pressure by the opposition to arrest Putin should he set foot in the country.
On Tuesday, Ramaphosa told a court that arresting Putin if he visits the country for the summit would amount to a declaration of war with Russia.