Putin had been expected to travel to South Africa in August to attend a meeting of the BRICS countries. In this case, South Africa understands the legal obligation to arrest Putin due to the arrest warrant issued against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) this week.
The visit of the Russian president to South Africa has not been confirmed and the question now is whether it will take place. Because of the international arrest warrant, countries that recognize the ICC will have to arrest Putin if he is in their country.
This puts South Africa in a difficult position as it is still a member of the International Criminal Court, having threatened to leave in 2017. Nor has the African country so far condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In 2015, South Africa refused to extradite Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir following an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court.
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