President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping did not speak at the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg. Observers are of the opinion that the decision to replace him was made at the last minute before the start of the discussion. The participants of the discussion were also surprised by Vladimir Putin’s speech broadcast from Moscow.
Johannesburg hosts a summit of the BRICS countries – the five largest emerging economies in the world: China, Russia, Brazil, India and South Africa. The Russian leader did not attend the meeting, as he had the right to expect that he would not return to Moscow after the summit, due to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court. Russia is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
BRICS Summit. Putin’s mysterious speech
Putin spoke with the participants of the forum in the form of a videoconference. In the recording, he said, among other things, that the so-called the grain agreement, which enabled the safe export of grain from Ukraine, will not be resumed until the conditions set by Russia are met, first of all, the restrictions on the export of Russian agricultural products are relaxed.
Those present at the Hall in Johannesburg were surprised by Putin’s voice – it was clear that this was not the voice of the president. At the same time, there are no discrepancies in the recording posted on the official website of the head of state – the speech is delivered in the voice of the president.
Former deputy head of the Ukrainian Interior Ministry Anton Herashchenko, reporting on this surprising event, wrote that “Putin spoke at the BRICS summit via video, because he was afraid to attend it in person. It seems he was also afraid to use his own voice.”
Xi Jinping did not give a speech. No reason was given for the speaker change
The speech of the representative of China was also commented on behind the scenes. According to the official schedule on Tuesday, leader Xi Jinping was supposed to speak, but China’s Trade Minister Wang Wentao finally appeared on the scene.
The Guardian suspects that the decision to change the speaker was made at the last minute, as excerpts from the speech published in Chinese state media and social media posts by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson suggested that it was delivered by Xi himself. The reason for the absence of the PRC chairman was not given, and according to the Guardian, such an explanation is unlikely.