Earlier this week, South Africa issued immunity to all foreign leaders attending the BRICS summit in August. Pretoria insisted it was a routine measure for international gatherings the country hosts. But many observers saw it as a way to allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to attend the summit despite an ICC arrest warrant.
A major theme of this year’s G-7 summit was the stated efforts by the rich, industrialized nations that make up the group to engage with the Global South. But that did not translate to substantive outcomes, as the Global South’s concerns took a back seat to the West’s geopolitical competition with an axis led by China and Russia.
New tensions in South Africa’s relationship with the U.S. emerged last week when Washington’s ambassador to Pretoria accused the country of providing arms to Russia despite Pretoria’s stated nonalignment in the war in Ukraine. The dispute could have implications for Washington’s “reset” of its relations with African countries.