Biden backs ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin over war crime charges

US President Joe Biden. AFP/File

WASHINGTON: Joe Biden said on Friday that it was “justified” for the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes charges of deporting Ukrainian children.

The US president told reporters at the White House that the move “makes a very strong point,” noting that the US is not a member of the ICC.

gave International Criminal Court On Friday, an arrest warrant was announced against Russian President Vladimir Putin for illegally deporting Ukrainian children accused of war crimes.

The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant against Maria Leva Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, on similar charges.

Moscow rejected these orders. As “void”. Russia is not a party to the ICC, so it was unclear whether Putin could ever stand trial.

War-torn Ukraine welcomed the ICC announcement, with President Volodymyr Zelensky saying “Historic decision

The court’s shock notice came hours after other news that has the potential to significantly affect Russia’s war on Ukraine, including a visit by Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Moscow and more fighter jets for Kiev’s forces. are

According to Kyiv, more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the February 24, 2022 attack, with many reportedly being held in institutions and foster homes.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP that Putin was liable to arrest if he set foot in any of the court’s more than 120 member states.

He said the arrest warrants were “based on forensic evidence, examination and the statements of the two men”.

“The evidence we presented focused on crimes against children. Children are the most vulnerable part of our society,” Khan said.

The ICC said the judges found “reasonable grounds” to suspect Putin of criminal responsibility and granted Khan’s request for a warrant, which was returned on February 22.

ICC President Piotr Hofmansky said the execution of the warrant depends on international cooperation.

‘Historic Decision’

During a meeting with Putin in mid-February, Lova-Belova said she had adopted a 15-year-old child from the devastated Ukrainian port city of Mariupol.

“Now I know what it means to be a mother of a child from Donbass — it’s a hard job but we love each other, that’s for sure,” she told Putin.

“We shifted children’s homes to safer areas, arranged rehabilitation and prosthetics for them and provided them with targeted humanitarian assistance,” he added.

The arrest warrant for Putin, the current head of state of a member of the UN Security Council, is an unprecedented step for the ICC.

Established in 2002, the ICC is the court of last resort for the world’s worst crimes, when countries cannot or will not prosecute suspects.

Prosecutor Khan launched an investigation into alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine just days after the Russian invasion.

Khan recently posted photos from a visit to Ukraine of empty beds in an empty childcare home, and said investigating the alleged child abductions was a “priority”.

“It’s fascinating,” he said. “One sees empty cribs and empty beds with paintings of these children on the walls.”

Zelensky, who met Khan on his visit, welcomed the arrest warrant for his enemy in Moscow.

“A historic decision that will begin a historic responsibility,” Zielinski said.

Ukraine’s Western allies have also praised the move.

US President Joe Biden said the warrant was “legitimate” and “makes a very strong point,” noting that the US is not a member of the ICC.

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have made clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” a State Department spokesman said. “The ICC Prosecutor is an independent actor.”

Britain welcomed the decision and the European Union said it was just the beginning. “This is a big day for many victims of Russian forces,” Human Rights Watch said.


The Kremlin rejected the warrant.

“Russia, like many other countries, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and therefore, from a legal point of view, the decisions of this court are null and void,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrants to toilet paper, while Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said they “make no sense” for Russia.

ICC’s Khan, however, said “there are many examples of people who believe they are beyond the reach of the law”.

“Look at (Slobodan) Milosevic or Charles Taylor or (Radovan) Karadzic or (Ratko) Mladic, who have faced justice,” he said, referring to former Yugoslavian war criminals and former Liberian President Taylor.

Earlier, Beijing and Moscow announced that Chinese leader and strategic ally Xi would sign agreements starting a new era of ties in Russia next week.

The United States has accused China of considering arms shipments to support Russia’s campaign — a claim Beijing strongly denies.

The arrest warrants came a day after United Nations investigators found Russia’s forced migration and deportation of Ukrainian children to areas under its control to be a war crime.

Investigators said the parents and children had talked through Russian social services to inform the youth that they would be placed in foster families or adopted.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but Kiev has accepted the court’s jurisdiction and is working with Khan’s office.

Russia denies allegations of war crimes by its soldiers. Experts have said it is unlikely he will ever hand over a suspect.

With fighting still raging in Ukraine, Kiev on Friday welcomed news that Slovakia would donate 13 MiG-29 fighter jets.

Ukraine has long requested fighter jets from Western allies, though it is primarily seeking advanced US-made F-16s.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *