South Africa asked Vladimir Putin not to come to the BRICS summit, but to participate via Zoom. Sunday Times reports.

As noted in the publication, the decision was made after Pretoria sought legal advice about its obligations to arrest Putin.

Putin was invited to attend a summit of the heads of the five emerging economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and host country South Africa.

The Republic of South Africa is among the countries that have signed the Rome Statute, which obliges it to comply with the decisions of the ICC.

"We have no option not to arrest Putin. If he comes here, we will have to arrest him," a spokesman for the South African government told the newspaper.

Last week, South African President Cyril Ramaposa appointed a special government committee, headed by the country's vice president, to study the government's options for issuing a warrant for Putin's arrest, the Sunday Times writes.

According to the source of the publication, the committee will not be able to find other options, except for Putin's participation in the summit via video link from Moscow.

Senior officials confirmed to the Sunday Times that Pretoria was in talks with Moscow about it.

In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. This means that Pretoria, where the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit will take place in August, must arrest him upon arrival.

The South African authorities announced in April that they intended to withdraw from the Rome Statute, but then announced that the Republic of South Africa remains a member of the International Criminal Court and will continue to consistently apply international law.