Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, has sidestepped the BRICS summit, a gathering of burgeoning economies, by opting for a pre-recorded address. This move is perceived as a calculated strategy to evade an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant, which looms over him due to accusations of war crimes.
In a 17-minute pre-recorded message, Putin spoke as the BRICS member nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa – convened in person in South Africa this Tuesday, marking their first physical assembly since the pandemic’s outbreak.
Initially, reports had indicated that Putin would take part in a virtual welcome dinner arranged by South Africa, followed by a scheduled video-linked speech on Wednesday.
The ICC’s attention is riveted on Putin’s alleged involvement in the abduction of children from Ukraine, a matter of grave concern that could result in his arrest.
During his address, Putin seized the opportunity to decry the global ramifications of international sanctions, while obliquely reproving Western countries for undermining established norms in trade and economy. His emphasis lay on the toll these sanctions have exacted on the cereal industry, portraying the situation as a deepening of significant challenges.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, coupled with Russia’s exit from the Black Sea grain agreement, has left an indelible mark on the worldwide grains sector.
Transitioning to a distinct matter, Putin updated his audience on Russia’s proposal to supply free grain to African nations. He disclosed that negotiations were inching toward their conclusive stages, affirming Russia’s unwavering commitment to serve as a steadfast and reliable food provider for Africa.
While Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s Foreign Minister, was present at the Johannesburg event, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov underscored that Putin’s remote participation held considerable weight. This carefully orchestrated move allowed Putin to address the BRICS gathering without exposing himself to potential arrest, making it clear that the shadow of the ICC’s warrant continues to influence global diplomatic dynamics.