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Business News/ News / World/  Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals the reason for not attending BRICS summit, says ‘Don't think my presence…’
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Russian President Vladimir Putin reveals the reason for not attending BRICS summit, says ‘Don't think my presence…’

Russian President Putin not attending BRICS summit in South Africa, says his presence in Russia is more important.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures during a press conference following the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 29, 2023. Sergei Bobylyov/TASS Host Photo Agency via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. (via REUTERS)Premium
Russia's President Vladimir Putin gestures during a press conference following the Russia-Africa summit in Saint Petersburg, Russia, July 29, 2023. Sergei Bobylyov/TASS Host Photo Agency via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. (via REUTERS)

Russian President Vladimir Putin while attending a press conference on Saturday downplayed concerns regarding not attending the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. The first in-person BRICS summit since the pandemic is scheduled to be held from August 22-24. 

Also Read: Russian President Vladimir Putin to skip BRICS summit in South Africa due to arrest threat. Details here

Replying to a question about not visiting South Africa for the BRICS summit next month, Putin said, “I do not think my visit to BRICS Summit is more important than me staying in Russia". The Russian President also added that he is in contact with leaders of all the BRICS countries.

Russia had previously clarified that Putin would not be attending the BRICS summit in person, while Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would represent the country. South African President Cyril Ramphosa had also made a similar statement on the matter.

“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 Mr. Sergei Lavrov," South African Presidency had said in a statement earlier this month.

The move was seen as a major setback for Putin, who has touted his relations with the BRICS countries - India, China, Brazil and South Africa - as evidence that US and European efforts to isolate him over the war in Ukraine have failed.

Why is Putin not attending BRICS summit in South Africa?

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin in March this year, linking him to the war crime of deporting Ukrainian children. Putin could be arrested under the warrant if he leaves Russian soil.

Also Read: Russia's Vladimir Putin to be arrested? Here's when an ICC warrant works

South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC and is bound by the court's decisions. The African country had indicated that it had no intention of arresting Putin if he attended the BRICS summit, but still pushed to avoid the controversy altogether. South Africa also has a history of defying ICC arrest warrants. In 2015, it had refused to execute an ICC arrest warrant against then-Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir during the African summit.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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Published: 30 Jul 2023, 06:40 AM IST
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