uS President Joe Biden has called the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against Russian President Vladimir Putin justified. “I think that makes a very strong point,” Biden said after an event in Washington on Friday, according to reporters. Putin clearly committed war crimes, Biden said. However, the International Criminal Court is not recognized worldwide, “not even by us,” added the President.
The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, issued an arrest warrant against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine on Friday. Investigators blame him for kidnapping children from occupied Ukrainian territory to Russian territory.
The ICC goes back to the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which was created through UN-led negotiations. In addition to Russia, the USA and China also do not recognize the court. Lawyers often cite the fact that these states want to protect their political leaders and soldiers from judicial access as the reason for this. In total, more than 120 countries have ratified the Rome Statute.
When asked whether Putin would be arrested on the basis of the ICC’s arrest warrant if he traveled to the United States, the National Security Council’s Communications Director, John Kirby, said evasively on CNN on Friday evening (local time). In any case, he thinks it is unlikely that Putin will come.
Zelenskyj: “historic decision”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has hailed the arrest warrant for Putin as a “historic decision” by the International Criminal Court. “The leader of a terrorist state and another Russian official are officially suspects in a war crime,” said Zelenskyy in a video message distributed in Kiev on Friday evening.
Thousands of Ukrainian children were illegally deported, Zelenskyy said. The Ukrainian authorities have registered at least 16,000 cases. “But the true total number of deportees could be much higher,” Zelenskyy said. Around 300 children have been brought back to Ukraine so far.
Moscow denies war crimes and stresses that the children were brought to safety before the war – which in Russia can only be called a “military special operation”. Ukraine, on the other hand, accuses the Russian aggressor of forcibly “Russifying” the children. “It would be impossible to implement such a criminal operation without the orders of the supreme leader of the terrorist state,” said Zelenskyy. He has long complained that children are being robbed of their Ukrainian identity through re-education and indoctrination.
“Separating children from their families, depriving them of any possibility of contact with their loved ones, hiding them on Russian territory, distributing them to distant regions – all this is obviously Russian state policy, they are state decisions, it is state evil “, says Zelenskyy. The first man in the state is responsible, he said, without naming Putin.
Zelenskyj thanked the team around the chief prosecutor of the court in The Hague, Karim Khan, for the step that made it possible to punish the guilty. Ukraine, in turn, will do everything to bring back the kidnapped girls and boys, said Zelenskyj.
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