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Russia Responds to ICC’s Arrest Warrant against Putin: Null, Void
By Staff, Agencies
The International Criminal Court [ICC] has issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crime accusations, while the Kremlin rejected the warrant and said the court has no jurisdiction and the decision is "null and void".
The Hague-based court said in a statement on Friday the arrest warrant was issued over Putin’s alleged involvement in the unlawful deportation and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility” for the alleged child abductions “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others [and] for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts,” the statement added.
The international court has also issued a warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the Russian president, on the same charges.
The ICC has no powers to enforce its own warrants as ICC member states can make the arrests and hand over the individuals to the Huge.
Russia has repeatedly rejected accusations of committing war crimes by its forces during the year-long war in Ukraine.
Reacting to the development, the Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Moscow did not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. Describing the questions raised by the court as “outrageous and unacceptable”, he stressed that any decisions of the court were “null and void” with respect to Russia.
Furthermore, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the warrant is meaningless.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” she said, adding, “Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”
Meanwhile, the United States which is not a member of the ICC welcomed its decision. US President Joe Biden told the reporters at the White House on Friday that the ICC’s decision was justified.
“He's clearly committed war crimes,” Biden told reporters, referring to Putin.
“Well, I think it's justified,” Biden added, referring to the warrant. “But the question is - it's not recognized internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”
Western leaders have, unsurprisingly, been welcoming the ICC move.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has also hailed the decision as historic.
The ICC decision was also welcomed by European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, who described it as “an important decision of international justice and for the people of Ukraine.”
The move was just the start of “holding Russia accountable” for its alleged crimes in Ukraine, he said.
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