ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin for war crimes

Vladimir Putin is “assumed to be responsible for war crimes, illegal deportation of the population (children) and illegal transfer of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” the ICC said in a statement. Mikhail Metzel/Reuters

The International Criminal Court (ICC) said on Friday it had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for the war crime of “illegally deporting” Ukrainian children since the start of the Russian invasion.

The ICC, based in The Hague, also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on similar charges.

Russia is not a member of the ICC and experts say it is unlikely to extradite the suspects. The court did not specify how it secured the execution of the arrest warrant.

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

Mr. Putin “is alleged to be responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of the population (children) and illegal transfer of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation,” the court added. “Presumably, the crimes have been committed in the occupied territory of Ukraine since at least February 24, 2022,” the ICC continued, adding that there are “reasonable grounds for believing that Mr. Putin is personally responsible for the aforementioned crimes.” Putin allegedly bears responsibility both directly for the commission of acts, and for “failure to exercise proper control over civilian and military subordinates who committed acts or allowed them to be committed,” the statement said.

spoils of war

The New York Times reported on Monday that the ICC is preparing to prosecute Russians for transferring children to Russia and for deliberately targeting civilian infrastructure in Ukraine. ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan said earlier this month after a visit to Ukraine that alleged child abductions are “under investigation as a matter of priority.” “Children should not be treated like spoils of war,” he said.

Yesterday, the President of Ukraine welcomed the issuance of an arrest warrant. “This is just the beginning,” Andrei Yermak, head of the presidential administration, greeted on Telegram. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba reacted on his Twitter account, welcoming the fact that “the wheel of justice is turning.”

The Kremlin has ruled that the arrest warrant for the Russian president is null and void because Moscow does not recognize the court. “Russia, like a number of states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court, therefore, from the point of view of the law, the decisions of this court are void,” the doorman told reporters. , Dmitry Peskov. Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the arrest warrant to toilet paper. “The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. No need to explain where this paper should be used,” he wrote on his English-language Twitter account, ending his message with a toilet paper emoji.

Ukraine on the agenda of Putin-Xi meeting

On the other hand, Russia promised on Friday to open a “new era” in its relations with China during Xi Jinping’s visit next week, who will meet with Vladimir Putin on the conflict in Ukraine and military cooperation, among others. Announced by Beijing and Moscow, Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia will take place from March 20 to 22, just over a year after the start of the Russian offensive in Ukraine that forced the Kremlin to refocus on China amid tensions with the West. mm. Xi and Putin, who will have their first face-to-face meeting on Monday ahead of more formal talks on Tuesday, will sign a joint statement to deepen their “strategic relationship as it enters a new era,” Kremlin diplomatic adviser Yuri Ushakov said. Quoted by Russian news agencies, Mr. Ushakov also praised Mr. Xi’s “restraint” in the conflict in Ukraine, in which Beijing presents itself as a mediator, despite its proximity to Moscow. Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang, in a telephone conversation with his Ukrainian counterpart Dmitry Kuleba on Thursday, urged Kyiv and Moscow to resume peace talks “as soon as possible,” Beijing said.

While Washington suspects China of considering arms sales to Russia, which Beijing and Moscow deny, the two leaders will also talk about “military-technical” cooperation, again according to the Kremlin. But it is the “economic agenda” that will be “most important for Russia, which must reorient its economy towards China in the face of Western economic sanctions” in connection with Ukraine, emphasizes Vasily Kashin, a geopolitics expert at the Moscow Higher School of Economics.

Source: AFP.

Source: L Orient Le Jour

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