Presidential Aide Discloses: Putin's Non-Participation in Upcoming BRICS Summit

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Russia's President, Vladimir Putin, will be absent from the forthcoming summit of BRICS nations, hosted by South Africa, the South African Presidency confirmed Wednesday. This clarification dispels the cloud of uncertainty that has hung over Putin's anticipated visit for several months.

South Africa had found itself in a precarious diplomatic situation due to Putin's proposed visit. The Russian leader currently faces an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). As a member of the ICC, South Africa could potentially be obliged to enforce this warrant, should Putin make an appearance in the country.

A spokesperson for President Cyril Ramaphosa, Vincent Magwenya, unveiled, "Upon a mutual consensus, President Vladimir Putin of the Russian Federation will abstain from attending the summit. Instead, Russian Foreign Minister Mr. Sergei Lavrov will represent the federation." 

Magwenya mentioned that the verdict is the culmination of multiple deliberations led by Ramaphosa in recent times, the latest of which occurred "last evening". 

The BRICS consortium, comprising of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, is currently chaired by South Africa. The group positions itself as an alternative to the prevalent Western economic hegemony.

Previously, Putin had received a formal invitation to the BRICS summit scheduled in Johannesburg between August 22 and 24. However, Pretoria has been experiencing immense national and international pressure to avoid hosting the Russian leader.

Magwenya concluded with Ramaphosa's optimistic outlook: "The President holds confidence that the Summit will turn out to be fruitful and urges the nation to welcome warmly the various delegates who will be attending from different regions of the continent and the world." 

Putin faces the ICC's pursuit for his alleged role in the illicit deportation of Ukrainian minors by Russia.

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