South African president: Arresting Putin at BRICS summit would be tantamount to declaring war on Russia


South African President Cyril Ramaphosa considered, in documents published today, Tuesday, that the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin would be tantamount to a declaration of war on Russia. .

In an affidavit, Ramaphosa said, “Russia has made it clear that any arrest of its current president would be tantamount to a declaration of war. It would not be consistent with our constitution to risk embroiling the country in a war with Russia,” considering that it was his duty to protect the country.

Putin was invited to the BRICS summit, which includes, in addition to South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia, and is currently chaired by Pretoria.

However, the Russian president has been targeted since March by an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court on charges of committing a war crime by “deporting” Ukrainian children since the Russian army started the war on Ukraine, which Moscow denies.

As a member of the International Criminal Court, South Africa is theoretically obligated to arrest the Russian president if he enters its territory.

This poses a serious diplomatic dilemma for Pretoria, which has refused to condemn Moscow since the start of its war on Ukraine in February last year.

The case took a legal turn as the Democratic Alliance Party, the main opposition party in South Africa, took legal action to force the government to arrest Putin and hand him over to the International Criminal Court if he entered the country.

In his affidavit, Ramaphosa described the PDA’s request as “irresponsible”.

South Africa is trying to obtain an exception from the laws of the International Criminal Court on the grounds that Putin’s arrest may threaten “the security, peace and order of the state,” as Ramaphosa explained in this text signed last June, which the court decided to publish after it was secret.

In a recent interview with local media, South African Vice President Paul Machatele said his government had tried to persuade Putin not to attend, without so far succeeding.

South Africa is hosting the 15th BRICS summit at the Sandton Convention Center in Johannesburg.

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