Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has publicly assured his Russian counterpart, President Vladimir Putin, of his safety should he decide to attend the forthcoming G20 meeting in Rio de Janeiro.
G20 Sidelines: Lula's Stand on Putin's Visit
During an exclusive interview on the Firstpost news show in Delhi, on the sidelines of the current G20 meeting, Lula confirmed that Putin would be extended an invitation to next year's summit.
This comment is seen as significant given the wariness with which many world leaders are viewing Putin, especially following the issuance of an arrest warrant against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) earlier this year.
"I believe that Putin can go easily to Brazil," Lula said, emphasising his stance. "What I can say to you is that if I'm president of Brazil, and he comes to Brazil, there's no way he will be arrested."
The Context: Putin's Absence and the ICC Arrest Warrant
In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin, alleging his involvement in the war crime of deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.
Russia, however, has staunchly denied that its forces participated in any such actions, including the forceful removal of Ukrainian children. The specter of the arrest warrant has seen Putin conspicuously absent from several international gatherings.
Notably, he was a no-show at the G20 summit in Delhi, delegating the task to his Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov. The position taken by Brazil is particularly intriguing because the country is a signatory to the Rome Statute, the treaty that resulted in the formation of the ICC.
This statement by Lula da Silva seems to underscore Brazil's intent to prioritize diplomatic channels and dialogues over adversarial actions. Interestingly, while the current climate has nations walking a diplomatic tightrope with regards to Russia, the G20 summit did not explicitly condemn Russia for its alleged actions in Ukraine.
On Saturday, a consensus declaration was adopted by the G20 nations which, while not pointing fingers at Russia, urged all nations to abstain from using force to annex territories.
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