JOHANNESBURG — Vladimir Putin will be the odd one out when leaders from the BRICS economic bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa meet in Johannesburg this week.

While all the others are set to attend the meetings in person, Putin will dial in on a video call.

The reason? An International Criminal Court arrest warrant issued for the Russian president put summit host South Africa in a sticky situation and ultimately resulted in Putin staying at home.

Here’s what is expected when the group of emerging economies holds three days of meetings starting Tuesday in South Africa’s biggest city and financial hub.

Putin dials in

All the leaders from the BRICS countries traditionally attend its summits, and Chinese Premier Xi Jinping is making a rare trip overseas to be at the bloc’s first in-person summit since before the COVID-19 pandemic.

But Putin’s indictment by the International Criminal Court in March charging him with war crimes over the removal of children from Ukraine left South Africa with a significant diplomatic conundrum.

From left to right, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, China's President Xi Jinping, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Russia's President Vladimir Putin, and Brazil's then-President Jair Bolsonaro pose for a photo at the BRICS summit at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Nov. 14, 2019.  (Pavel Golovkin—AP)

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