Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has said that Russian President Vladimir Putin will not be imprisoned if he attends the Group of 20 meeting in Rio de Janeiro next year.
On the sidelines of the G20 Summit in New Delhi on Saturday, Lula told Firstpost that Putin will be invited to the event the following year. He added that he planned to attend a BRICS bloc of developing nations meeting in Russia before the Rio meeting.
"I believe that Putin can easily go to Brazil," Lula said, adding, "What I can say to you is that if I'm president of Brazil, and he comes to Brazil, there's no way he will be arrested."
The statement comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin in March, accusing him of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. Russia has denied that its forces have engaged in war crimes or forcibly taken Ukrainian children.
Putin has repeatedly skipped international gatherings, including the G20 Summit, where foreign minister Sergey Lavrov represented Russia. On Saturday, the G20 nations adopted a consensus declaration that avoided condemning Russia for the war in Ukraine but called on all states not to use force to grab territory.
"We call on all states to uphold the principles of international law including territorial integrity and sovereignty, international humanitarian law, and the multilateral system that safeguards peace and stability," the declaration said.
"We welcome all relevant and constructive initiatives that support a comprehensive, just, and durable peace in Ukraine," it said. "The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible," the statement added.
(With agency input)