Monday, July 17, 2023

South Africa Puts Off Decision on Putin Visit until Russia-Africa Summit

 The Associated Press published on 14 July 2023 an article titled "South Africa Urges Putin to Not Attend August Summit Due to International Arrest Warrant" by Gerald Imray.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes involving the abduction of children from Ukraine.  South Africa is hosting in August the BRICS summit, which Putin was planning to attend.  South Africa is signatory to the convention creating the ICC and technically is responsible for arresting him if he visits South Africa.

In an effort to avoid this dilemma, South Africa suggested that the BRICS summit move to China, be held virtually, or that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attend in lieu of Vladimir Putin.  Russia rejected all three suggestions.  South Africa has postponed a final decision until the Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg on 27-28 July.