The foreign ministers of the BRICS (South Africa, Brazil, China, India and Russia), meeting on Thursday 1er June in Cape Town ahead of a summit in August whose preparations are dominated by the question of whether or not Vladimir Putin will come to South Africa, called for a “rebalancing” of the world order. “The world is multipolar, it is rebalancing and the old ways cannot respond to new situations”said Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the opening of the meeting.
“Our discussions today will focus on opportunities to strengthen and transform global governance systems”said South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor. Pretoria has long advocated for the Brics to play a counterbalance in a Western-dominated world order.
Close ties between Pretoria and Moscow
Asked by journalists about the presence of the Russian president at the summit in August, the minister confirmed that“An invitation was sent to the Heads of State of the five countries”. Mme Pandor added that the South African government, which has not commented on the possible arrest of the Russian head of state, is studying “legal options”. Mr Putin is the subject of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the war crime of “deportation” Ukrainian children as part of Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine.
A member of the ICC, South Africa is theoretically supposed to arrest the Russian president if he enters its soil. The two countries maintain close ties. Pretoria has refused to condemn Moscow since the start of the war in Ukraine, claiming to hold a neutral position and want to favor dialogue, which worries the international scene.
In April, Mr. Ramaphosa said the ICC arrest warrant for Mr. Putin put South Africa ” Sticks in the wheels “. This week, the South African government granted diplomatic immunity to officials attending the BRICS summit, saying it is a standard measure for organizing international conferences.