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South Africa’s ruling party says Putin ‘welcome’ despite ICC warrant — RT World News

Country still ‘constrained’ by ICC, senior South African ruling party official admits

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) is ready to welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to the country at any time, party general secretary Fikile Mbalula has said.

The senior party official made the remarks in an interview with BBC HARDtalk host Stephen Sackur, who asked him if he thought the country’s government would actually enforce the arrest warrant for Putin issued by the Criminal Court. (CPI) earlier this year.

“If it was according to the ANC, we would want President Putin to be here, even tomorrow, to come to our country,” Mbalula said, noting however that “We know we are compelled by the ICC to do this.”

The official somewhat avoided answering the question directly, suggesting that it is in fact not possible to simply go and arrest the leader of a country.

“Putin is the head of state, do you think a head of state can be arrested anywhere?” Mbalula went on to add that the Russian president had in fact been “to work for peace between Ukraine and Russia.”

He also insisted to the reporter on the questionable record of the UK itself and its Western allies, in particular former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as the futile search for “weapons of mass destruction” used as excuse to invade Iraq.

How many crimes has your country committed in Iraq? How many crimes have all those who are so vocal today committed in Iraq and Afghanistan? Did you arrest them?

The remarks prompted Sackur to wrap up the discussion on the topic, with the reporter instead moving on to questions about South African internal affairs.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights, in mid-March, accusing them of participating in the “the illegal deportation of the population (children) and that of the illegal transfer of the population (children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”. The Hague-based court is not recognized by Moscow and this decision has no legal validity in Russia.

However, the ICC decision has created problems for the upcoming BRICS summit, scheduled for August and hosted by South Africa. Officials in the country have given mixed signals about the prospect of enforcing it, with several senior officials making ambiguous statements. In mid-April, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa even pledged to leave the ICC altogether, but backtracked shortly after, with his office claiming the president had made the remarks. “wrongly”.

The warrant provoked widespread condemnation in Russia and sparked legal action against court officials. This week, Russia’s investigative commission accused an ICC prosecutor and judge in absentia of bringing false charges against a foreign official under international protection with the aim of complicating international relations.

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