The Presidency announced on Wednesday that, by mutual agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the fifteenth Summit of Brics nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – taking place in Johannesburg, in August.
The Russian Federation will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
The Democratic Alliance launched a court application in the Gauteng High Court requesting a declaratory order to the effect that if Putin arrives in South Africa to attend the summit, the South African government must immediately detain and surrender him to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which has an arrest warrant out for the Russian President.
The Presidency said this would be the first in-person summit to be held in four years, the last three having been held under the chairmanship of Russia, India and China in virtual format on account of the Covid-19 pandemic.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed South Africa’s readiness to host the Summit.
The Presidency noted that Ramaphosa had, in recent months and weeks, held a number of consultations on the hosting of the Summit, with Ramaphosa’s most recent consultation taking place on Tuesday night at the Brics Political Party Dialogue underway in Gauteng.
“In due course, a comprehensive statement on the substantive issues to be covered at the Summit and other related foreign policy matters will be issued,” said the Presidency.
Ramaphosa expressed confidence that the Summit would be a success and called on the nation to extend the necessary hospitality to the many delegates who would arrive from various parts of the continent and the globe.