Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Saturday that Russian leader Vladimir Putin would not be arrested in Brazil if he attends the Group of 20 meeting in Rio de Janeiro next year.
Interviewed on the sidelines of the G20 meeting in Delhi by news program Firstpost, Lula said Putin would be invited to next year’s event, adding that he himself planned to attend a meeting of the BRICS bloc of developing countries that in Russia would take place before the Rio meeting.
“I believe Putin can easily go to Brazil,” Lula said. “What I can say to you is that if I am president of Brazil and he comes to Brazil, there is no way he will be arrested.”
The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March, charging him with the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. Russia has denied that its forces committed war crimes or forcibly took Ukrainian children.
Putin has repeatedly skipped international meetings and did not attend the G20 meeting in Delhi, where he dispatched Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Brazil signed the Rome Statute that led to the creation of the ICC. Lula’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Saturday, G20 countries adopted a consensus statement that avoided condemning Russia for the war in Ukraine but called on all states not to use force to seize territory.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)