Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has denied that the BRICS summit will be moved away from South Africa to China to avoid the controversy over the arrest of President Vladimir Putin.
Lavrov said the claim was not true and the summit would go ahead in Johannesburg as planned.
He accused the British media of coming up with the story, saying it has no truth.
“This information is from this one British tabloid, and I don’t read British papers,” said Lavrov.
International Relations and Cooperation Minister Naledi Pandor also said the summit would be held in Johannesburg.
“We will reflect on partnership and proposal between the BRICS 15th summit, which will be held in Johannesburg,” said Pandor.
BRICS Foreign Ministers are currently meeting in Cape Town.
On Thursday, the ministers supported the idea of the expansion of BRICS, saying it showed many countries believe in the importance of the structure.
China hosted the BRICS summit virtually last year.
South Africa will be hosting the BRICS summit in August for the third time after it did so in 2018 and 2013.
Lavrov, Vice Foreign Minister of China Ma Zhaoxu, Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Brazilian Foreign Affairs Minister Mauro Vieira all supported the idea of the expansion of BRICS.
BRICS has received applications from 19 countries that want to join.
Lavrov said he met the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud on the sidelines of the BRICS meeting, and Saudi Arabia was keen to join BRICS.
He said there were many countries that wanted to join BRICS.
The Vice Foreign Minister of China, Ma, said the work of expanding BRICS started in 2017.
He said they have been working on this model since then, and many countries from Latin America to Africa, Asia and Europe wanted to be part of the BRICS family.
Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar said BRICS leaders asked the senior officials to work on the addition of new members.
He said they started to develop guidelines,principles and criteria for countries to join BRICS.
Jaishankar said this was still work in progress, but they are positive about it.