Russian President Vladimir Putin has offered to host the next summit of the BRICS alliance of emerging economies.
Putin made the offer after he could not attend the event in South Africa this year due to an arrest warrant against him by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In a speech, which was transmitted via video to the meeting in Johannesburg, Putin invited the representatives of the other member states Brazil, India, China and South Africa to the Russian city of Kazan in October 2024.
The specific date is to be agreed through diplomatic channels.
Putin announced that there would be more than 200 political, economic and social events under Russia’s BRICS presidency in the coming year.
This year’s summit of major emerging economies runs until Thursday.
The ICC warrant, for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, means that Putin would have faced a possible arrest had he attended in person because South Africa is a member of the ICC.
Putin used a video address to the summit leaders to reiterate Russian justifications for cancelling a grain export agreement with Ukraine, and made sharp criticism of the West and of Kiev.
China’s President Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, South Africa’s Cyril Ramaphosa and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi are attending the summit in person. (dpa/NAN)