President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has said the Kremlin wants to see an end to the conflict in Ukraine which he claimed was “unleashed by the West and its satellites.”
Putin made this statement on Wednesday at the inaugural BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where he attended virtually
The summit opened on Tuesday as the loosely defined club of large emerging economies seeks to assert its voice as a counterweight to the Western-led international order.
The BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa represent a quarter of the global economy, and interest in joining the group surged ahead of its three-day summit in Johannesburg.
Putin’s travel to Africa has been complicated by an outstanding International Criminal Court warrant for his arrest over the abduction of children from Ukraine.
The Russian leader who gave a 17-minute prerecorded speech addressed to the leaders of Brazil, India, China and South Africa accused the West of oppression actions aimed at the people of Donbass
“Our actions in Ukraine are dictated by only one thing – to stop the war unleashed by the West and their satellites against people living in Donbass,” he said
“It should be noted that many countries that wanted to preserve their hegemony, launched a difficult conflict in Ukraine. Russia decided to support those who fought for their language, culture and language, and to oppose those who threatened the life of people in Donbass.”
Fellow BRICS nations have abstained from condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine
On the future of BRICS, he said “Our group of the five countries has rightly proved to be a credible entity in the global arena, with an ever-growing influence in global affairs. The strategic course of BRICS is aimed at the future .”
“The main thing is that we are all unanimous for the formation of a multipolar world order that is truly fair and based on international law while respecting the key principles of the UN Charter, including sovereign rights and respect for the right of each nation to its own development model.”
Putin took further swipes at the Western bloc, denouncing what he claimed were attempts to influence the political and economic affairs of other countries
“We are against any kind of hegemony that some countries promote because of their exclusivity and based on this postulate of a new policy – the policy of continuing neo-colonialism.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa had reiterated that arresting the Russian leader would amount to a declaration of war on Russia
“It would be inconsistent with our Constitution to risk engaging in war with Russia,” he said, adding that this would go against his duty to protect the country.
South Africa is the current chair of the BRICS group, a gathering of heavyweights that also includes Brazil, Russia, India and China, which sees itself as a counter-balance to Western economic domination.