President Joe Biden said on Friday that he believes the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on suspicion of war crimes, but the move has admitted that it is hardly symbolic as neither Russia nor the United States.
“I think it’s justified,” Biden told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House. I think it will.”
Biden later told reporters that he believed Putin “clearly committed a war crime.”
The ICC on Friday formally accused Putin of war crimes.
ICC President Piotr Hoffmansky said in a video statement On Friday, an arrest warrant was issued for President Putin on “suspected war crimes of the deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
International law prohibits the occupying power from transferring civilians from the occupied territory to other territories.
Hoffmanski said the warrant remained sealed to protect the identities of the children who were allegedly kidnapped.
“Nevertheless, the judge in the court handling this case decided in the interest of justice to expose the existence of the warrant and prevent future crimes from being committed,” he said.
The ICC’s announcement was met with a critical reaction from the Kremlin, but was met with enthusiastic applause by Ukrainian leaders.
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmitro Kuleva said “the wheels of justice are turning”. Post to Twitter“International criminals will be held accountable for child theft and other international crimes.”
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told journalists in Moscow on Friday that Russia does not recognize the ICC’s jurisdiction and believes the warrant is meaningless.
“We consider the very formulation of this issue to be outrageous and unacceptable. Russia, like some other states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and therefore , a decision of this kind is legally null and void for Russia.
Asked by reporters whether the existence of an arrest warrant would affect Mr Putin’s overseas travels, Mr Peskov declined to give further details, saying only that he had “nothing to add on this topic”. bottom.
Similarly, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said the warrant was meaningless because the ICC’s decision has no legal authority in Russia.
“The decision of the International Criminal Court has 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 is not obliged to do so.”
“Who would have thought 15 years ago that caring for, saving and helping children in the West would be a crime?”
In addition to calling for Putin’s arrest, the ICC announced on Friday that it had also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseevna Livova-Belova, a child rights commissioner at the Russian Federation’s presidential office, on similar charges.
ICC said in a statement Putin and Lviva Belova “are held responsible for the war crimes of the illegal deportation of the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to the Russian Federation and the illegal transfer of the population (children).”
The court said “the crime was allegedly committed in the occupied territory of Ukraine” from February 24, 2022, the day Russia invaded Ukraine, calling it a “special military operation”. There is
Lvova-Belova quoted Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency as saying that the removal of children from war zones was a humanitarian act and that the arrest warrant was “a very strange one”.
“It is wonderful that the international community appreciates this work that helps the children of our country. Surround them with affection, caring people.
“This is all very strange. This seems to me to be a clear confirmation that if there is no other way to intimidate a country, they will come up with something absolutely wonderful … like a small child, no other When they can’t do anything, they just show their fists from somewhere far away, ”said Lvova-Belova.
An ICC judge issued the warrant, but since the ICC does not have its own police force, it is up to the international community to enforce the warrant.
“Executions depend on international cooperation,” said Hoffmansky.
It is unclear which countries will help put Putin in custody, but Russia has made it clear that it has no intention of cooperating, viewing the move as a provocation.
“Yankees, get your hands off Putin!” Vyacheslav Volodin, the head of Russia’s parliament and a close aide to Putin, said in Telegram that the move was evidence of “hysteria” in the West.
“Any attack on the President of the Russian Federation will be considered an attack on our country,” he added.
The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of people, with about 2.6 million Ukrainian refugees in various European countries and about 2.9 million in Russia. latest data from the United Nations.