Russian Foreign Minister Plans War on Ukraine in South Africa for BRICS Summit

Most of the BRICS countries differ sharply from the US and its Western allies’ stance on the war. Speaking ahead of the meeting, South African Ambassador Anil Souklal singled out the West’s military aid to Ukraine as one of the factors „fueling the conflict”.

Asked for his reaction to Western „attempts” to transfer weapons to Ukraine, Souklal said, „Any attempt to fuel the conflict will not solve the problem.”

„We know of no global conflict that has been resolved despite war,” he said. „It causes more pain and suffering and this is what we say as BRICS countries: let’s focus on finding peaceful solutions to challenges rather than fueling conflict.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been invited to attend the summer summit, but it is unclear whether he will attend. The Russian leader’s visit will put enormous diplomatic pressure on South Africa. The country is a signatory to an International Criminal Court agreement that has issued an arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes for abducting children from Ukraine.

South Africa has not made its position clear on the execution of the warrant. Instead, the government has said it is seeking legal advice on its options, seen by critics as an attempt to find a way out of its clear obligation to arrest Putin as a signatory to the International Court of Justice treaty.

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Allowing Putin to travel freely to the summit could further strain South Africa’s relationship with the West, following US accusations that South Africa has provided weapons to Russia for its war in Ukraine. South Africa has denied the allegation.

Lavrov held official talks in at least three African countries en route to South Africa, and his participation in the BRICS talks was clearly centered in a luxury Cape Town hotel overlooking the South Atlantic Ocean.

While Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang was expected to attend, South Africa’s foreign ministry said it sent its deputy instead, but all other foreign ministers attended.

The expansion of the BRICS bloc and the accompanying strengthening of Russian and Chinese political and economic influence will be a major topic of discussion at both the foreign ministers’ meeting and the main BRICS summit in August.

Souklal said more than 20 countries have applied „formally or informally” to join the BRICS bloc, among which Saudi Arabia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates have submitted official requests.

A consortium of China, Russia and the world’s three largest oil producers could be seen as a direct economic challenge to the United States, and some analysts have said it would offer some form of opposition to the Group of Seven advanced economies. .

Sooklal said that since South Africa is the current chair of BRICS, it has prepared a report on potential new members and the process for admitting them. The report will go to Lavrov and other foreign ministers and provide „guidance” on how to proceed with any escalation.

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Foreign ministers from at least 15 countries from the Global South have been invited to the second BRICS meeting in Cape Town on Friday. Sooklal said one of the stated objectives of the camp was to address „major faults on the geopolitical front and the economic front” caused in part by an outdated international system.

„This is what the BRICS has been achieving since its inception,” said Souklal. „We need a reformed, transformed multilateral system that speaks to the current challenges we face and is inclusive and fair and just. It does not marginalize the majority of the world’s population.”

„The majority of the Global South feel that our institutions need reform, and their voices are equally heard in this context.”

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More AP news on the Russia-Ukraine war: https://apnews.com/hub/russia-ukraine

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