South Africa says it has maintained contact with all important players in the Ukraine-Russia conflict since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin ahead of the Brics meeting in August.
Although noting the ICC warrant, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Vincent Magwenya, stated that the country believes the conflict in Ukraine can be addressed peacefully.
South Africa has taken this stance since the war began in February of last year. Magwenya stated that she would be in contact with all important players between now and the summit.
Magwenya said, “With respect to the ICC we note the report on the warrant of arrest that the ICC has issued against President Putin.
“It remains South Africa’s commitment and a very strong desire that the conflict in the Ukraine is resolved peacefully through negotiations. We as a government are cognisant of our legal obligation.
“However, between now and the summit we will remain engaged with relevant stakeholders with respect to the summit and other issues related.”
In 2015, South Africa found itself in a similar scenario when it failed to arrest former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir while he was attending the African Union summit in Johannesburg.
Political groups filed a lawsuit against the government for failing to arrest Al-Bashir, who was eventually deposed in his own country.
Putin is set to attend the Brics conference alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping, Brazilian President Lula da Silva, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Xi will also see Putin this week, on his first visit to Moscow since the invasion of Ukraine.