China's President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazil's President Michel Temer and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose for a group picture at the Brics summit meeting in Johannesburg, July 26 2018. Picture: REUTERS/ MIKE HUTCHINGS
China's President Xi Jinping, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa, Brazil's President Michel Temer and Russia's President Vladimir Putin pose for a group picture at the Brics summit meeting in Johannesburg, July 26 2018. Picture: REUTERS/ MIKE HUTCHINGS

Russian president Vladimir Putin has arrived in SA to attend the 10th Brics Summit in Sandton. Putin touched down amid a heavy security presence, and security at the Sandton Convention Centre was also tightened in anticipation of his arrival.

The morning’s activities begin with a "family photo" with the presidents of SA‚ Brazil‚ China‚ Russia and India. The leaders will then hold closed-door talks before President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers an opening statement at the summit.

The other Brics heads of state are also expected to address the summit later on Thursday morning.

As Donald Trump's tariff salvos threaten global trade wars, leaders from the BRICS bloc - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - are expected to band together in defence of the multilateralism the United States once championed at a summit of major emerging nations in Johannesburg. Subscribe to TimesLIVE here: https://www.youtube.com/user/TimesLive

The three-day summit of the world’s leading emerging economies is being closely watched internationally‚ especially with mounting concern over the threat of a US-led trade war.

On Wednesday‚ Chinese president Xi Jinping said there would be "no winner" in a global trade war‚ which has been perceived as a warning to US President Donald Trump.

"We are facing a choice between co-operation and confrontation‚ between opening up and closed-door policy and between mutual benefit and a beggar-thy-neighbour approach‚" Xi said.

"The international community has again reached a new crossroads."

Putin was expected to hold private talks with Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan later on Thursday. South African government officials said the Russian leader was also expected to hold one-on-one talks with Ramaphosa during his stay.