G. McConway
July 20, 2023

Putin Backs Out of Summit Fearing Possible Arrest

It turns out, Russian President Vladimir Putin does read the papers.

Putin is not so fearless after all, backing out of a summit over fears of being arrested.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa had been backed into a corner over taking Putin into custody at the upcoming BRICS summit. Putin let him off the hook by backing out of the summit, reported Reuters.

Not Going

South Africa, due to its treaty obligation with the International Criminal Court (ICC), would have been put in a difficult position had Putin attended due to the war criminal charges he faces.

Ramaphosa has been asked about the possibility of arresting Putin, and the best answer he gave was that it would have been “inconsistent” with the South African constitution. He further noted that arresting Putin would have been akin to “declaring war” against Russia.

There was speculation that South Africa, rather than risk the treaty violation, could back out of hosting duties and allow another member to host the event. The likely alternative would have been China.

Putin saved everyone the problem, however, by pulling out of the conference.

Ramaphosa tried to get around this several months ago, offering diplomatic immunity to all members of the conference, but the ICC shot the idea down, holding South Africa to its commitment.

Ramaphosa stated, “Russia has made it clear that arresting its sitting president would be a declaration of war. It would be against our Constitution to risk engaging in war with Russia.

“I have constitutional obligations to protect the national sovereignty, peace and security of the republic and to respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights of the people of the republic to life, safety and security, among other rights in the Bill of Rights,” reported Breitbart.

Rather than allow Ramaphosa to continue to take heat, Russia stated that Putin would not be attending in person, but will instead make a video call into the conference.

This decision not only saved Putin from possibly being arrested, but it also may have saved Ramaphosa’s presidency, as his detractors were sitting on the sidelines ready to pounce regardless of the decision that he made.

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