Don't let Putin attend BRICS summit, Nobel prize winner tells South Africa

Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters

Johannesburg: Ukrainian Nobel peace prize winner Oleksandra Romantsova on Wednesday urged South Africa to not allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend a BRICS summit in the country in August, reported AFP.

Romantsova urged the South African government to ‘show us that they care’.

“For us South Africa is a place where people are fighting for freedom, for equality for dignity,” said Romantsova at a media briefing in Johannesburg, reported AFP.

She added that it would “be a great disappointment,” if Putin were to come here and not be arrested.

The International Criminal Court warrant against Putin arises from allegations that Russia illegally deported Ukrainian children.

According to AFP, Romantsova, the executive director of the Kyiv-based Centre for Civil Liberties (CCL), advised that the Russian president attend the BRICS summit via Zoom – or send a minister who is not wanted by the ICC.

Last year, CCL shared the peace prize with Belarusian and Russian co-winners.

South Africa, a continental heavyweight, has declined to denounce the invasion of Ukraine, which has largely isolated Moscow on the international scene, claiming that it wishes to remain neutral and favours diplomacy to resolve the crisis.

It undertook a contentious joint military drill with Russia and China earlier this year, which critics point to as proof of a shift towards the Kremlin.

With inputs from agencies

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