Ukraine: ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Friday that it had issued an arrest warrant to hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for war crimes committed in Ukraine since the Russian invasion.

“Today, 17 March 2023, the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for two individuals in connection with the situation in Ukraine: Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms. Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova”, Presidential Commissioner for Children rights in Russia, the ICC said in a statement.

“Mr Putin is held responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of population (children) and illegal transfer of population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine,” the court said. The ICC further stated, “The crimes were allegedly committed in occupied Ukrainian territory at least since February 24, 2022.”

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On Monday, the New York Times reported that the ICC was preparing to prosecute the Russians for the transfer of children to Russia and the deliberate attack on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said after a visit to Ukraine earlier this month that the alleged abduction of the children was “being investigated with priority”.

The ICC, created in 2002 to judge the world’s worst crimes, has been probing for more than a year possible war crimes or crimes against humanity committed during the Russian invasion.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kiev has accepted the court’s jurisdiction over its territory and is working with a prosecutor. Russia denies the allegations of war crimes. Experts acknowledged that she was unlikely to hand over any suspects.

“This is just the beginning”

The Ukrainian president on Friday welcomed the issuance of an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court, which holds him responsible for the war crime of “deporting” children from Ukraine.

“This is only the beginning,” welcomed Andrey Irmak, head of the presidential administration, on Telegram. The Ukrainian prosecutor’s office welcomed the “historic decision”.

On the other hand, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday that the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Vladimir Putin has no meaning in Russia’s eyes.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no significance for our country, including from a legal point of view,” ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel. “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations to it,” he added.



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