Arresting Putin would be tantamount to a declaration of war, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa

 


πŸ‡ΏπŸ‡¦πŸ‡·πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¦ South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said a court order that would force him to commit to arresting Russian leader Vladimir Putin if he attends a BRICS summit in Johannesburg next month would be premature, and effecting such a ruling would be tantamount to a declaration of war.

The Democratic Alliance, South Africa’s main opposition party, approached the country’s High Court to compel the government to honor an International Criminal Court warrant issued against Putin that’s related to war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine. South Africa is a signatory to the Rome Statute that established the ICC and is bound by its decisions.

The government is aware of its legal obligations and is seeking ways to deal with the warrant, Ramaphosa said in an answering affidavit to the DA’s application.

He argued that until Putin lands in the country — and he may never do so — he is under no obligation to pronounce on the matter.

“Any obligation to arrest has not arisen,” Ramaphosa said. “It would potentially arise if President Putin were to come to South Africa.”

South Africa has sought to get around the warrant by either moving the summit to China or hosting it virtually, but both options were vetoed by other BRICS members.

Putin has insisted on leading his nation’s delegation to the gathering, according to local media reports, placing South Africa in a conundrum.

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