The Kremlin said on Saturday that Russian President Vladimir Putin had a phone call with President Cyril Ramaphosa during which they discussed the Black Sea grain deal, which is due to end on Monday, and the BRICS summit in South Africa next month.
Putin’s potential summit attendance is sensitive for both countries because of an arrest warrant issued against him in March by the International Criminal Court, which charged him with the war crime of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia.
The memorandum means that the member states of the International Criminal Court – including South Africa – are obligated to arrest him if he sets foot on their territory. Russia said at the time that the memorandum was “outrageous” and legally invalid because Russia is not a member of the ICC.
The Kremlin has yet to say publicly whether Putin plans to attend the summit. It said in a statement on Saturday that Ramaphosa had briefed Putin on preparations for the event, but gave no details of their exchange.
Regarding the grain deal, which expires Monday unless Russia agrees to extend it, Putin assured Ramaphosa that commitments to remove obstacles to Russian food and fertilizer exports had not yet been fulfilled, the Kremlin said.