Vladimir Putin will take part in the upcoming BRICS summit in South Africa via video link, according to a report by state-run news agency RIA Novosti citing a statement by Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
“President Putin has decided to participate in the BRICS summit via video conference call. This will be a full-fledged participation. Minister Lavrov will be present at the summit in person.”
Earlier, the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that Putin would not attend the summit “by mutual agreement.” In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of the illegal deportation and transfer of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine. As South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute, it would have been obligated to arrest Putin if he attempted to enter the country.
Ramaphosa had previously suggested that the Russian delegation to the BRICS summit be led by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, but this request was initially rejected by the Russian side. In early June, Reuters reported that South Africa was looking for ways not to arrest Putin without violating its obligations to the ICC.