South Africa admits Putin’s ICC arrest warrant ‘in the works’

South Africa has been admitted that the international arrest warrant issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin represents a “turn key” ahead of a BRICS summit due to take place in the country in August.

Pretoria, which has close ties with Moscow, has faced a diplomatic dilemma since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March.

The Russian president is due to attend a BRICS summit in South Africa in August, alongside leaders from Brazil, India and China.

However, as a member of the ICC, South Africa should arrest the Russian president if he sets foot in the country.

“All heads of state should attend the summit. But now we have a key in the form of this ICC warrant,” Vincent Magwenya, spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, said during a briefing on Wednesday. press briefing, adding that the situation was under review.

The ICC has issued the arrest warrant against Putin for the alleged illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

A continental power, South Africa refused to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying it wanted to remain neutral and prefer dialogue to end the war.

Earlier this year, Pretoria staged a controversial joint military exercise with Russia and China, which critics cite as evidence of a Kremlin leaning.

South Africa’s ties with Russia date back decades when the Kremlin backed the ruling African National Congress in its fight against apartheid.

The ICC mandate has been the cause of political unrest in the country.

The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, has called for Putin’s arrest and for the ICC to force the government’s hand.

But left-leaning parties, including the South African Communist Party – a close ally of the ruling African National Congress – have urged the government to welcome the Russian leader and withdraw from the ICC instead.

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