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Moscow: 'No Macron!" at BRICS summit

FILE: In a photo some say is a metaphor for French-Russian relations, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, listens to French President Emmanuel Macron during their meeting in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, on Feb. 7, 2022.

MOSCOW — French President Emmanuel Macron would be an inappropriate guest at the BRICS summit, the RIA news agency quoted Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying on Thursday, as Moscow criticizes countries whose policies it considers hostile.

Asked about Macron's reported desire to attend the summit, Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov said: "Clearly, leaders of states that pursue such a hostile and unacceptable policy towards us, discussing with such emphasis and conviction that Russia should be isolated on the international stage, and share the common NATO line on inflicting a so-called strategic defeat on us - such a leader is an inappropriate BRICS guest.

"And we are not hiding this approach of ours, we have told our colleagues from South Africa. We expect that our point of view will be fully accepted," Ryabkov was quoted as saying.

The BRICS group of emerging economies, comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, is due to hold a summit in Johannesburg in August.

South Africa is currently mulling its legal options if Russian President Vladimir Putin decides to attend the BRICS summit, because the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March issued an arrest warrant for Putin over the Ukraine conflict.

South Africa is an ICC member and would theoretically be required to arrest him if he attends the BRICS summit.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa so far has not set forth his intentions regarding that ICC warrant and Putin's possible presence at the meeting.