Biden says Putin committed war crimes, calls charges justified

US President Joe Biden. — AFP/File

Washington: US President Joe Biden said on Friday that Russian President Vladimir Putin was clearly guilty of war crimes. of the International Criminal Court (ICC) justified the decision to issue his arrest warrant.

The ICC earlier on Friday called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of illegal deportation of children and illegal transfer of people from Ukraine. Russia Since Moscow’s attack on its neighbor began last year. The US is not a member of the ICC.

“He has clearly committed war crimes,” Biden told reporters, referring to Putin.

“Well, I think it’s legitimate,” Biden added, referring to the warrant. “But the question is, we haven’t even recognized it internationally. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

The United States has separately concluded that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine and supports the accountability of those responsible for war crimes, a State Department spokesman said in an emailed statement.

“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine and we have made it clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” the spokesman added. “This was a decision that the ICC Prosecutor reached independently based on the facts before him.”

The ICC’s move obliges the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he steps on their soil. The ICC also issued a warrant on Friday for Maria Leva Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, on the same charges.

A US-backed report by Yale University researchers last month said Russia was holding at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in at least 43 camps and other facilities as part of a “massively organized network”. .

Russia has denied allegations that its forces committed atrocities during its invasion. The Kremlin said Friday that the ICC’s arrest warrant was provocative against Putin, but meaningless in relation to Russia.

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