Arrest warrant for Putin: Presidency won’t ‘speculate’ on scenario if Russian president arrives in SA | News24

  • SA respects international laws, says Vincent Magwenia after ICC issues arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin.
  • He did not speculate about what might happen if Putin arrived in SA for the BRICS summit later in the year.
  • In 2015, when Omar al-Bashir visited South Africa, the SA government failed to execute a similar warrant.

The South African government respects international laws, said Vincent Magwenya, a spokesman for President Cyril Ramaphosa, fueling “speculation” on what will happen when Russian President Vladimir Putin sets foot in the country for the BRICS summit later this year. “Will not apply.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) last week issued an arrest warrant against Putin for alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine.

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied allegations that the Russian military committed atrocities during its invasion of its neighbor.

Reuters reported that the ICC issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of illegal deportation of children and illegal transfer of people from Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute and, therefore, has a responsibility to execute an ICC arrest warrant if the person against whom it is issued steps into South Africa.

However, in 2015, the South African government refused to detain former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who attended the African Union summit in South Africa.

He was the subject of two ICC arrest warrants for multiple counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes.

read | Moscow calls Putin arrest warrant ‘redundant’ as Ukraine hails ICC ruling

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal ruled the following year that the Implementation Act of the Rome Statute nullified the immunity granted to foreign heads of state and that al-Bashir should have been arrested in South Africa.

South Africa will host a summit of heads of state of BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – later this year.

“We note the report on the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against President Putin. It is South Africa’s commitment, and very strong desire, to see that the conflict in Ukraine is resolved peacefully through dialogue,” Magwenya said. Go.”

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“We are mindful of our obligations as a government. However, between now and the summit, we will be engaging with various relevant stakeholders regarding the summit and other related issues.”

Magwenya said he had been informed that invitations had not even been sent to the BRICS heads of state, so talking about Putin visiting South Africa would be “speculating against scenarios that may not necessarily arise”.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in 2018.

He said the government maintained its neutral position on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and that the conflict should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

“And we will repeat that message over and over again,” he said.

He said Ramaphosa had stressed the importance of peaceful engagement in talks with both Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Putin.

Magwenya said Ramaphosa had emphasized that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres could play an important role in such engagements.

read | SA offers to host Ukraine-Russia parliamentary peace talks

Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February last year, the South African government has been supporting Russia under the guise of neutrality, refusing to acknowledge its BRICS partner’s role as an aggressor in invading a sovereign state Is.

Last month, South Africa hosted Russia and China for a naval exercise off the KwaZulu-Natal coast.

Amid international criticism ahead of the naval exercise, the Ministry of Defense and military veterans said: “Contrary to what our critics claim, South Africa is not abandoning its neutral position on the Russia–Ukraine conflict.”

Defense and Military Veterans Minister Thandi Modise attended an international security conference in Russia in August last year.

In October, South Africa was one of 35 countries that abstained from a UN General Assembly vote that condemned Russia’s occupation of Ukraine’s territories.


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