Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the 15th Brics summit in South Africa in August.
This has been confirmed by Prof Anil Sooklal, ambassador-at-large for Asia and Brics and South Africa’s Brics sherpa (emissary).
Sooklal told TimesLIVE invitations had been sent out to all Brics heads of state.
“How it works is that if the head of state has a conflict on the date proposed, they will inform us. If we hear nothing, then it is taken that they are all fine with it.”
He said the message South Africa was getting from other member countries was “that they have received the invitation and they are planning to attend”.
“I was in Moscow two weeks ago at the Russian sherpa and he said they are sending an advance team to South Africa to prepare for the attendance of the summit. If they send an advance team, they are obviously going to be coming,” Sooklal said.
The summit will take place from August 22 to 24 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The confirmation comes as the government deliberates on how it plans to handle the International Criminal Court’s warrant of arrest issued for Putin.
President Cyril Ramaphosa told media during a state visit by Namibian President Hage Geingob on Thursday the matter was still under consideration.
“We are waiting for all the Brics members to indicate whether they are coming,” said Ramaphosa.
International relations minister Naledi Pandor previously said the matter had been presented to the cabinet for deliberation.
Sooklal said the preparations for the summit were well under way, with more than 200 meetings scheduled to be hosted by South Africa.
“Our meetings are going as per schedule. We have a meeting this coming week in Cape Town of deputy ministers of foreign affairs and the Russian, Chinese and other countries are attending. It will be hosted by our deputy minister, Middle East and North Africa.”