The International Criminal Court (CPI) issued an order of detention against the Russian president Vladimir Putin. He accuses him of being responsible for alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine. As soon as the news broke, the Kremlin came out to dismiss that measure: “It is null” and “nonsense”. The president could be arrested and sent to The Hague if he travels to any member state of the body.
The move came just a day after a UN-mandated investigative body accused Russia of committing far-reaching war crimes in Ukraine, including intentional killings and torture, among other things. The accusation speaks of a alleged illegal deportation of Ukrainian children in disputed areas which were occupied by the Russian Federation.
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations of atrocities during the year-long war. And this morning, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Russian has done it again. He not only denied the accusation but also maintained that ICC order “didn’t have any meaning”.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court are meaningless for our country, including from a legal point of view,” said the spokeswoman for Russian diplomacy, Maria Zakharova.
In tune, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov, recalled his country’s historical position vis-à-vis organizations such as the ICC. “Russialike a number of states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of that courtand consequently, from the point of view of the law, the decisions of that court are null“, he declared.
Precisely while Putin is unlikely to end up in court any time soon, the order means that you could be arrested and sent to The Hague if you travel to any ICC member state.
For its part, the government of Ukraine celebrated this news with a warning tone: “This is just the beginning”said Andriy Yermak, head of the presidential cabinet. Similarly, other senior Ukrainian officials hailed the move, including the country’s Attorney General Andriy Kostin, who called it “historic for Ukraine and the entire system of international law.”
What does the ICC ruling say?
The international organization’s arrest warrant was not only for Putin. There were also, for the same reason, against the Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in RussiaMaria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
The ICC statement says that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of the population” and the “illegal transfer of population from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.
In addition, the text potentially indicated that “the crimes would have been committed on occupied Ukrainian territory at least since the February 24, 2022“. Faced with these facts, he continued, there are “reasonable grounds to believe that Putin is personally responsible for the aforementioned crimes.”
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan declared this month after a visit to Ukraine that the alleged child abductions were the subject of “priority investigation.”
Russia moves allies
The consequences of this failure of the ICC they are unpredictable. Russia has been subject to unprecedented Western sanctions since it sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
The news was released just days before the state visit that the Chinese president, Xi Jinpingwill carry out Moscow, with the aim of strengthening ties with the Kremlin.
Beijing and Moscow established a “no limits” partnership shortly before the war, and European and US leaders have acknowledged concerns that Beijing could send weapons to Russia.
China denied those accounts and strongly criticized Western weapons supplies to Ukraine, which will soon be extended to fighter jets after Poland and Slovakia approved the deliveries this week.