Russia has confirmed that it will fully participate in the upcoming BRICS summit taking place in South Africa later this month. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov made the announcement during a press briefing on Thursday, responding to rumors that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would only join the summit via video instead of attending in person.
While Peskov refused to comment on the reports about Modi’s participation, he stated that Russian President Vladimir Putin intends to join the summit via videoconference, with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov representing Russia on the ground. Peskov emphasized that Russia will take a full-fledged part in the summit.
The Indian Prime Minister’s office later refuted the rumors, confirming that Modi is looking forward to traveling to South Africa for the summit. Several media outlets had previously reported that Modi might skip the event due to the absence of Russia’s president.
Putin’s decision to participate in the summit via video was initially announced in mid-July, effectively ending speculation about his potential visit to South Africa and any legal implications it might entail. The host country, South Africa, is a party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), which had issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March, accusing him of “kidnapping” Ukrainian children. Moscow has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated and baseless.
Being a member of the ICC, South Africa would technically be obligated to arrest Putin and hand him over to the court if he were to visit the country. However, President Cyril Ramaphosa has repeatedly indicated that arresting a foreign leader is not a simple task and warned of the potential consequences, even suggesting it could be seen as a declaration of “war” against Russia. Consequently, the South African president’s office confirmed that Russia and South Africa had mutually agreed that Putin would not travel to the country and Lavrov would attend instead.
The BRICS summit brings together leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa to discuss and enhance cooperation on various issues, including economics, trade, and global politics. Russia’s active participation in the summit, even through video conferencing, demonstrates its commitment to the BRICS alliance and its role in international affairs.
In this year’s summit, the leaders are expected to discuss the expansion of BRICS and potential new members. India has been a strong supporter of expanding the alliance, advocating for the inclusion of countries like Mexico, Egypt, and Indonesia. The BRICS summit provides a platform for member countries to strengthen their ties and collaborate on various global issues.
Overall, Russia’s confirmation of its full participation in the BRICS summit signifies the country’s commitment to the alliance and its dedication to constructive engagement with other member nations. Despite the challenges posed by legal implications and logistical constraints, the summit remains a crucial forum for discussing and advancing cooperation among emerging economies.