A giant screen installed at the International media center shows Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva walking at the Bharat Mandapam at ITPO Convention Centre, Pragati Maidan, the venue of the G20 Summit in New Delhi, India, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA/RAJAT GUPTA

Lula says Putin ‘won’t be arrested’ if he comes to Brazil

New Delhi, Sep 10 (EFE).- Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has assured his embattled Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, that he would not be arrested in Brazil if he came to attend the G20 summit in Rio de Janeiro next year.

“Putin can easily (come) to Brazil,” Lula told Indian news website Firstpost, on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi.

A handout photo made available by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) of India shows Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) welcoming Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva for the G20 Summit at Bharat Mandapam at ITPO Convention Centre Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, India, 09 September 2023. EFE-EPA/INDIAN MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS / HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

The interviewer reminded Lula about an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant against him over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

Lula replied that as long as he was the president of Brazil, there was no way Putin could be arrested in his country.

“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. No. He will not be arrested.”

Lula was told that Brazil, being a member of the ICC, was obliged to arrest Putin if set foot in his country.

He said that nobody could disrespect Brazil by arresting Putin “without the authorization of the government.”

Lula said he would be visiting Russia next year for the BRICS summit along with other leaders of the bloc.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant against Putin in March, alleging that he had committed war crimes by illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.

Russia has denied the allegations.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Putin has skipped international meetings.

He did not attend the BRICS summit in South Africa or the G20 meeting in the Indian capital, where he sent his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Putin also missed the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia, last year.

The G20 meeting currently underway in New Delhi adopted a consensus declaration that doesn’t condemn Russia for the war in Ukraine.

The declaration calls on all states to “refrain from the threat or use of force to seek territorial acquisition against the territorial integrity and sovereignty or political independence of any state” in line with the UN Charter.

“The use or threat of use of nuclear weapons is inadmissible,” says the declaration.

The outcome document sealed after hectic negotiations reaffirmed that “the G20 is the premier forum for international economic cooperation.”

“Recognizing that the G20 is not the platform to resolve geopolitical and security issues, we acknowledge that these issues can have significant consequences for the global economy.” EFE