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Brazil's Lula Retracts Safety Assurance for Putin concerning ICC Warrant at Rio G20

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has retracted his previous assurance stating that Vladimir Putin, the Russian President, would not face arrest in Brazil at the forthcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit in Rio de Janeiro. The issue pivots on whether an International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant would oblige local law enforcement to apprehend the Russian leader.

In March, The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin aligned with his suspected role in contraventions of international law regarding the transfer of children from occupied areas in Ukraine to Russia. In an unprecedented reversal, Lula emphasised that any occurrence of detainment would squarely be a decision for the judiciary, not the government.

In a recent development, Lula has expressed concern over Brazil's role in the United Nations war crimes court. Drawing attention to the absence of the United States, Russia, China and India as signatories, Lula openly questioned the repercussions on emerging countries.

Unanticipated comments from Lula over the weeekend, meanwhile drew criticism from observers. Lula, during an exchange with the Indian news network Firstpost, expressed an assurance that Putin would not face arrest if he were to visit Brazil. These comments spurred a wave of reproval from figures including Oliver Stuenkel, professor at Getulio Vargas Foundation in Sao Paulo, who lamented the Brazilian president's remarks as "damaging and unnecessary".

This rhetorical fluctuation culminated in Lula's press conference on Monday where he stepped back his claims and placed the responsibility of an potential arrest on the judiciary.

With the next G20 summit slated for November 2024 in Rio de Janeiro, Lula voiced his hope that the ongoing war would be resolved by that time.

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