South Africa tells Putin it can’t afford nuclear plants now

July 27, 2018
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa addresses a media conference at the end of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday, July 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe, Pool)

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Africa’s leader has told Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country cannot afford to buy nuclear power plants from Moscow, a change from his scandal-ridden predecessor.

President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke to reporters as the BRICS summit of emerging economies ended Friday.

Member nations China, Russia, India, Brazil and South Africa used the meeting to speak out against the Trump administration’s growing trade war.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and several other heads of state also attended the summit.

Ramaphosa, who took over a wilting South African economy after Jacob Zuma resigned in February, said he and Erdogan did not discuss any possible deportations of Turkish citizens suspected of supporting the 2016 attempted coup. Turkey has targeted followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who denies orchestrating the coup attempt.