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2023 BRICS Summit in Johannesburg
The 15th BRICS summit will take place from August 22-24 in Johannesburg, South Africa, which assumed the rotating BRICS presidency in January 2023.

South Africa Studying Legal Options Over Putin's Participation in BRICS Summit, FM Says

© SputnikSouth African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor speaks to the press on the sidelines of the BRICS ministerial meeting in Cape Town, South Africa.
South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor speaks to the press on the sidelines of the BRICS ministerial meeting in Cape Town, South Africa. - Sputnik Africa, 1920, 01.06.2023
The participation of Russian President Vladimir Putin in the upcoming BRICS Summit scheduled to take place in Johannesburg this August fell under question when the International Criminal Court (ICC), to which South Africa is a party, issued an arrest warrant for Putin, accusing him of war crimes.
South African authorities are working on legal solutions to the issue of Putin's visit to the BRICS summit in Johannesburg, with a final decision to be announced by President Ramaphosa, said the country's Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor on the sidelines of the BRICS ministerial meeting.
"Our government is currently looking at what the legal options are with respect to this matter and I've indicated […] that it is something the president will be best person to speak about once it has reached a conclusion," she told journalists.
The minister underlined that the leaders of all five countries of BRICS have been invited to the summit, and these invitations remain valid.
As the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Putin, South Africa as a member of the organization would be required to arrest Putin if he attends the gathering. Pandor confirmed that the country is fully aware of its obligations to the ICC, highlighting that it is trying to resolve this matter.
Earlier this week, Obed Bapela, a deputy minister in South Africa's government, stated that the country is planning to change its national legislation so that it has the right to decide independently whether to detain a person who is wanted by the ICC.
On May 30, the South African Foreign Ministry announced that it will grant diplomatic immunity to all participants of two key meetings within the framework of its BRICS chairmanship, including meetings of foreign ministers of the BRICS group and the so-called Friends of BRICS' states in Cape Town on 1 and 2, as well as the summit scheduled for August 22 to 24 in Johannesburg. At the same time, it was noted that this immunity does not extend to arrest warrants issued by international organizations.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier stated that his government would consider withdrawing from the ICC in accordance with the decision of the ruling African National Congress party. Later, the presidential office provided "clarifications" on the president's statement regarding the country's possible withdrawal from the ICC, underscoring that the nation will remain in the institution.
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