International Authorities Issue Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin
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The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes.
The ICC’s warrant alleges that Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, another Russian official, violated the Geneva Convention by unlawfully deporting children from Ukraine to Russia.
A warrant was also issued for the arrest of Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation. The ICC states that the official “bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged crimes.
“It is forbidden by international law for occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live in to other territories. Children enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention,” ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański said Friday in a statement.
“The ICC is doing its part of work. As a court of law, the judges issued arrest warrants that execution depends on international cooperation,” he said.
Russia rejected both the warrants and the ICC’s authority.
“Russia does not cooperate with this body, and possible ‘recipes’ for arrest coming from the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us,” according to a statement made in Russian on the Foreign Ministry’s Telegram channel.
According to the ICC, it has the authority to bring charges against Russian officials because Ukraine accepted its jurisdiction to investigate crimes made by the country on Ukrainian territory.
The ICC said that it publicized the arrest warrants in the hopes that it “may contribute to the prevention of the further commission of crimes,” as the forced deportation of children in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory is ongoing.
“This is an important moment in the process of justice before the ICC,” Hofmański said. “The judges have reviewed the information and evidence submitted by the prosecutor and determined that there are credible allegations against these persons for the alleged crimes.”
The warrants come as Putin is set to have a high-profile meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping between March 20 and 22.
“From now on, the Russian president has the official status of a suspect in committing an international crime – illegal deportation and displacement of Ukrainian children,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said in a statement.
“This means that outside Russia, Putin should be arrested and brought to court. And world leaders will think three times before shaking his hand or sitting with him at the negotiating table. The world has received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and its leadership and allies will be brought to justice.”
Source: The Hill