ICC issues arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin

The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, over responsibility for war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine during the war ongoing for over a year.

The court’s accusation centered around the alleged deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. Moscow said the warrant had no legal bearing on the Russian president. 

ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Khan said his office identified incidents of deporting “at least hundreds of children” taken from Ukrainian orphanages and children’s care homes. Many of the children are alleged to have been offered for adoption in Russia since.

Khan referred to a legal amendment, based on presidential decrees, which essentially facilitated the adoption of the children by Russian families.

“My office alleges that these acts, amongst others, demonstrate an intention to permanently remove these children from their own country,” Khan said. “We cannot allow children to be treated as if they are the spoils of war.”

The Hague-based court said there were reasonable grounds to believe that Putin “committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others,” or that he failed to properly control “civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility.”

The court did not elaborate on how it intended to carry out the warrant. Russia tends not to cooperate with international extraditions, is not a full member of the ICC, and does not accept its jurisdiction. 

The ICC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights, on the same charges Putin was facing.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry quickly undermined the significance of the warrant. Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the decision had “no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view.”

“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it,” she said in a statement on the messaging app Telegram.

The Kremlin said it did not recognize the ICC’s authority, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that any of the court’s decisions regarding Russia were “null and void.” 

Peskov added that Russia found the questions raised by the warrant “outrageous and unacceptable.”

Source- DW News