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/RUSSIA: S. Africa Reportedly Advises Putin To Avoid Visit Over ICC Arrest Warrant


South Africa's Sunday Times reported over the weekend that "the South African government and its Russian counterparts are engaged in high-level talks that could see President Vladimir Putin avoid travelling to South Africa to avert a diplomatic fallout over the International Criminal Court’s warrant of his arrest."

  • The Russian leader has been invited to a BRICS summit that will be hosted by South Africa in August, but an arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court has complicated plans for his trip to the sub-Saharan country.
  • South African officials have spent the past few weeks trying to come up with a solution to the conundrum related to Putin's potential visit. President Ramaphosa floated the idea of exiting the ICC, but quickly walked back on his statement.
  • The government last week said that Ramaphosa established a special committee chaired by Deputy President Paul Mashatile to explore legal options related to Putin's potential visit. The panel reportedly concluded that there are no viable options for South Africa to host the Russian President.
  • An unnamed government official told the newspaper that "we have no option not to arrest Putin (...) If he comes here, we will be forced to detain him." According to the report, South Africa is mooting alternative solutions, such as having Putin attend the summit via a video link.

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