South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said his country is ready to leave the International Criminal Court, which in March issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.
South Africa has expressed frustration over the impact of the arrest warrant on the upcoming BRICS summit which Putin, Ramaphosa and the leaders of Brazil, India and China are expected to attend.
BRICS is an acronym for five leading global economies: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The term BRICS was coined by economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 and South Africa was added in 2010. Since 2009, the BRICS have served as an official intergovernmental organization, countries have met annually at summits and coordinated multilateral policies, According to Forbes magazine.
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March over allegations of illegal deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.
South Africa did not condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, instead choosing to remain neutral during the war, while advocating dialogue to end the conflict.
Ramaphosa, who made the remarks during a news conference with Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto, also said that the ruling African National Congress has long held that the ICC treats some countries unfairly.
The ANC has also been a longtime friend of Moscow and Putin.
“Our point is that we would like to properly discuss this unfair treatment,” he said. Ramaphosa told VOA. “But in the meantime, the ruling party has again decided that there must be a withdrawal, so that is an issue that will be taken forward.”
If Putin attends the annual BRICS summit, South Africa is obligated to arrest him under an ICC warrant.
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