ICC Arrest warrant for Putin is deemed “null and void” by the Kremlin

An arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes. However, Kremlin rejected the warrant, asserting that the court lacked jurisdiction and that the decision was “null and void.”

Putin’s alleged involvement in the unauthorized removal and transfer of children from occupied Ukraine to Russia, according to a statement from the Hague-based court, led to the issuance of an arrest warrant.

The statement went on to say that “there are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged kidnappings of children because “he has committed the acts directly, jointly with others or through others and for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”

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On the same allegations, the international court has also issued a warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the Russian president’s commissioner for children’s rights.

Since member states of the ICC are able to make arrests and hand people over to the Huge, the ICC does not have the authority to enforce its own warrants.

Throughout the year-long conflict in Ukraine, Russia has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces committed war crimes.

Dmitry Peskov, a spokesperson for the Kremlin, responded to the development by stating that Moscow did not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction. He emphasized that the court’s decisions regarding Russia were “null and void,” describing the court’s questions as “outrageous and unacceptable.”

Additionally, Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian foreign ministry, stated that the warrant has no significance.

She stated on her Telegram channel, “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it,” and “the decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view.”

In the meantime, Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin praised the ICC’s decision, describing it as “a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire international law system” and stating that “it is only the beginning of the long road to restoring justice.”

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell also praised the ICC’s decision, calling it “an important decision of international justice and for the people of Ukraine.”

The move was only the beginning of “considering Russia responsible” for its supposed violations in Ukraine, he said.

Following the Kyiv administration’s failure to implement the terms of the Minsk agreements and Moscow’s recognition of the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine at the end of February 2022.

At the time, one of the objectives of the so-called “special military operation” was to “de-Nazify” Ukraine, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In an effort to subdue Moscow, Western nations, led by the United States, have shipped weapons worth billions of dollars to Kyiv and imposed unprecedented economic sanctions on Moscow.

A year ago, ICC prosecutor Karim Khan began an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide in Ukraine amid Western support for the country. Noting that he was looking into alleged crimes against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure, he made four trips to Ukraine.

Khan said in a statement on Friday that Russian orphanages and children’s homes have taken hundreds of Ukrainian children. We assert that many of these children have since been adopted in the Russian Federation,” he added.

Khan claims that Moscow has changed laws to make it easier for Russian families to adopt children, whereas Ukrainian children who were deported are protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

He stated that the warrants for arrest issued today were “a first concrete step,” noting that additional investigations into the Ukraine war are still ongoing.

The United Nations Human Rights Statement stated that its findings documented a numerous number of violations committed by the Ukrainian forces, “including likely indiscriminate attacks and two incidents qualifying as war crimes, where Russian prisoners of war were shot, wounded, and tortured.”


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