Brazil’s President Lula has withdrawn his personal assurance that Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be arrested if he attends next year’s G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro.
Putin missed this year’s gathering in the Indian capital New Delhi, avoiding possible political tension and any risk of criminal detention under an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant.
Brazil is an ICC member but President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has raised eyebrows after telling Indian news network Firstpost: ‘If I’m the president of Brazil and if he comes to Brazil, there’s no way that he will be arrested.’
But earlier today, he told reporters: ‘I don’t know if Brazil’s justice will detain him. It’s the judiciary that decides, it’s not the government.’
Putin refused to attend recent international gatherings and had to send his Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to New Delhi instead for the September 9-10 G20 meeting, even though India is not an ICC signatory.
In March, the ICC announced an arrest warrant for Putin over the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.
The Kremlin denies the accusations, insisting the warrant against Putin is ‘void’.
On Saturday, the G20 nations adopted a declaration that avoided condemning Moscow for the war in Ukraine but called on all states to refrain from using force to grab territory.
The next summit is slated for November 2024 in Rio de Janeiro and Lula said he hoped ‘that by then the war is over’.
But he also questioned Brazil’s membership of the war crimes court, adding that ’emerging countries often sign things that are detrimental to them’.
‘I want to know why we are members but not the United States, not Russia, not India, not China,’ Lula said.
‘I’m not saying I’m going to leave the court, I just want to know why Brazil is a signatory.’