Pretoria is negotiating with Moscow and invites Putin to participate in the BRICS summit via video conference. Should the dictator and wanted war criminal travel to South Africa, local authorities are obliged to arrest him based on the International Criminal Court warrant.
"We have no option not to arrest Putin," a government official said. “If he comes here, we will have to arrest him.”
Last week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a special government committee headed by the country's vice president to study the government's Vladimir Putin’s international arrest warrant, the newspaper reported.
This committee will not be able to find "any options that would allow Putin to come," the paper’s sources said. "The only option we have is for [Putin] to participate in the summit via Teams or Zoom from Moscow."
Last week, South Africa's Presidency officially confirmed that the country has no plans to withdraw from the Rome Statute, denying Ramaphosa's own statements.
The Kremlin said it had not yet decided whether Putin would attend the Durban summit.
The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russian Children's Ombudsperson Maria Lvova-Belova.
They are accused of illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.
The leader of the aggressor state can now be arrested in 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute.
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