Russia to take part in SA summit at ‘proper level’

Questioned on whether Russian leader Vladimir Putin will attend the Brics summit in South Africa in August, a Kremlin spokesman has said Russia will take part “at the proper level”.

The Russian president was invited to the gathering earlier this year, but a warrant subsequently issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) means South Africa would be expected to arrest him if he attends.

The Brics alliance represents some of the world’s leading emerging economies, including Brazil, Russia, China, India and South Africa.

“Russia attaches enormous importance to the development of this format of integration. And Russia will take part in this summit at the proper level,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said at a briefing.

According to Russia’s Tass news agency, Mr Peskov promised to give “all the details” later.

When pressed further about the arrest warrant, Reuters quoted him as saying: “Of course we count as a bare minimum on partner countries in such an important format not being guided by such illegal decisions.”

South Africa has granted diplomatic immunity to officials attending the summit, but a foreign affairs spokesman added that such immunities were standard for international gatherings and did not override warrants issued by international tribunals.

Mr Putin has been accused by the ICC of crimes against humanity committed during the war in Ukraine. South Africa has refused to condemn Russia’s invasion, insisting it wants to remain neutral.

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