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    Peskov: Putin will not go to the BRICS summit in South Africa, but will take part via video link

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    Press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov said that Vladimir Putin will not go to the BRICS summit in South Africa, instead Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will take part in person. He stated this to RIA Novosti.

    “President Putin has decided to participate in the BRICS summit via video conference. It will be full participation. Minister Lavrov will be present at the meeting itself,”

    – said Peskov.

    Peskov also said that Russia, during negotiations with South Africa, never made it clear to the South African side that Putin’s arrest on an ICC warrant at the summit would be “tantamount to a declaration of war.” This was previously reported by the media with reference to a statement by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    The meeting of leaders of the countries will be held in the capital of South Africa Johannesburg on August 22-24.

    Position of South Africa

    Earlier, on July 19, the same was reported on the website of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. “By mutual agreement, the President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, will not attend the summit, but the Russian Federation will be represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Sergey Lavrov,” the statement said.

    On July 15, South African Vice President Paul Machatile said that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa tried to personally convince Putin not to come to the summit. He explained this by the fact that the republic ratified the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court, which issued a warrant for the arrest of the Russian president. Thus, South Africa must comply with the decisions of the ICC and, accordingly, arrest Putin. However, according to Mashatile, such a move is unthinkable.

    “This is a big dilemma for us. Of course we can’t arrest him. It’s like you invite your friend to your house and then arrest him. However, the Russians are not happy. They want [Putin] to come,” Mashatile said.

    The day before, he said that Moscow had rejected the request of the South African side that Lavrov represent Russia at the summit. It has also been suggested that the summit be held in China or that Putin participate online. The first option was rejected by India and Brazil, Mashatila said.

    The South African newspaper The Sunday Times wrote that the Russian side rejected any options other than a face-to-face visit by Putin to the country. As one of the interlocutors of the publication said, “Russia is promoting its national interests, and it is in its interests to appear strong among friends. But South Africa cannot be used as a battlefield for proxy wars.”

    On May 30, the South African government announced that the summit participants would be granted diplomatic immunity, which protects, among other things, from arrest or detention.

    Arrest of President

    South Africa is one of 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute (the founding document of the ICC) and recognize its jurisdiction. The office of Ramaphosa stated that the country was not going to leave the jurisdiction of the ICC. Russia signed this document in 2000, but in 2016 refused to be a party to the treaty. China, Turkey, India, the USA and other countries have not ratified it either.

    On March 17, the Pre-Trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Putin and Russian Children’s Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova. The court report noted that Putin and Belova “are allegedly responsible for a war crime – the illegal deportation of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” According to the ICC, this happened between February 24, 2022. Russia put the prosecutor who issued the warrant for Putin’s arrest on a wanted list. He has no special signs The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Russian Federation put on the wanted list the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Karim Khan, who … 19 May 20:14

    In Moscow, the decisions and activities of the ICC are not recognized. Press Secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov called the very formulation of the issue of a criminal court “outrageous and unacceptable.” It was about the evacuation of children who found themselves under shelling by Ukrainian troops in the Donbass and lost contact with their parents.

    Search for prosecutors and judges

    Moscow, in response to the actions of the ICC, put the prosecutor and judges of the body on the wanted list. For example, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan was put on the wanted list in mid-May. At the same time, ICC judge Rosario Salvatore Aitale was put on the wanted list. They have been charged.

    To the prosecutor – under Part 2 of Art. 299, part 1 of Art. 30, part 2, art. 360 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (bringing a knowingly innocent person to criminal responsibility, as well as preparing to attack a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection).

    Judge – Part 2 of Art. 301, part 1 of Art. 30, part 2, art. 360 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (knowingly unlawful detention, as well as preparation for an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection).

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