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Putin to attend BRICS Summit in South Africa via video conference: Kremlin

Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the plenary session of the 2022 Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia. (File photo by TASS photo agency)

Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the upcoming BRICS Summit in South Africa via video conference, the Kremlin says.

“The president decided to take part in the BRICS Summit in a video conference format. It will be a proper participation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Wednesday.

“The meeting itself will be attended by Minister Lavrov,” he said of Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

The summit will be held in Johannesburg between August 22 and 24.

South Africa's presidency says the agreement for Putin to attend the summit via a video conference was "mutual" and that the two countries made the decision following a "number of consultations."

South Africa had cautioned against any attempt to arrest Putin.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin and South Africa as a signatory to the ICC would have been expected to facilitate Putin’s arrest.

“I must highlight, for the sake of transparency, that South Africa has obvious problems with executing a request to arrest and surrender President Putin,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (L) and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa shake hands during a meeting in St. Petersburg on June 17, 2023. (File photo by TASS News Agency)

“Russia has made it clear that arresting its sitting president would be a declaration of war. It would be inconsistent with our constitution to risk engaging in war with Russia,” Ramaphosa said.

Russia says the arrest warrant is “outrageous and legally void.”

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