The International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday for crimes related to the deportation and illegal transfer of children from Ukraine during the war. The decision was published on the court’s website.

According to the decision, there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Putin is personally responsible for the cited crimes during the war against Ukraine.

“Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, born October 7, 1952, President of the Russian Federation, is allegedly 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 territory of the Russian Federation. The crimes were allegedly committed in the occupied territory of Ukraine since at least February 24, 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the above crimes,” the document reads.

A similar arrest warrant was issued for the Commissioner of the President of the Russian Federation for the Rights of the Child, Maria Lvova-Belova.

In May 2022, Putin signed a decree on a simplification procedure for orphans from Ukraine to obtain Russian citizenship. And Lvova-Belova said that thanks to the measure she adopted a Ukrainian child.

On 13 March, it had already been reported that the International Criminal Court in The Hague had opened two war crimes cases related to the Russian invasion of Ukraine and intended to seek arrest warrants for Russian officials, but had not released the names. At the time, it was reported that the arrest warrants related to the kidnapping of Ukrainian children and their transfer to Russia, as well as attacks on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.

According to the law, the decision means that the President of Russia will not be able to visit countries that have ratified the Rome Statute and recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Among them are almost all countries in Europe, all states in South America, including Brazil, as well as other countries such as Tajikistan, Afghanistan, South Africa, Central African Republic and Nigeria.

Russia does not recognize The Hague and rejects decision

Russian diplomacy quickly reacted by stating that the decisions of the International Criminal Court on the “arrest” of Vladimir Putin and Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova are legally null and void. The statement was made by the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Maria Zakharova.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view”, emphasized the diplomat.

According to her, Russia does not participate in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has no obligations arising from the mechanism.

Editing: Thales Schmidt


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