Putin arrest warrant issued more than war crime allegations

  • By Antoinette Radford &amp Frank Gardner, BBC safety correspondent
  • BBC News

17 March 2023

Updated six hours ago

Image supply, Getty Photos

Image caption,

Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, for the duration of a meeting final month

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The court alleges he is accountable for war crimes, and has focused its claims on the unlawful deportation of young children from Ukraine to Russia.

It says the crimes have been committed in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 – when Russia launched its complete-scale invasion.

Moscow has denied the allegations and labelled the warrants as “outrageous”.

It is hugely unlikely that considerably will come of the move – the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only physical exercise jurisdiction inside its member nations – and Russia is not a single of them.

On the other hand it could influence the president in other strategies, such as getting unable to travel internationally.

In a statement, the ICC stated it had affordable grounds to think Mr Putin committed the criminal acts straight, as properly as functioning with other people. It also accused him of failing to use his presidential powers to quit young children getting deported.

When asked about the ICC’s move, US President Joe Biden stated “properly, I assume it really is justified”. He noted that the US is not signed up to the ICC, “but I assume it tends to make a pretty powerful point”. Mr Putin “clearly committed war crimes”, he stated.

Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, is also wanted by the ICC for the exact same crimes.

In the previous, she has spoken openly of efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian young children taken to Russia.

Final September, Ms Lvova-Belova complained that some young children removed from the city of Mariupol “spoke badly about the [Russian President], stated awful items and sang the Ukrainian anthem.”

She has also claimed to have adopted a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol.

The ICC stated it initially viewed as maintaining the arrest warrants a secret, but decided to make them public in the occasion that it stopped additional crimes from getting committed.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told the BBC: “young children cannot be treated as the spoils of war, they cannot be deported”.

“This sort of crime does not will need a single to be a lawyer, a single wants to be human getting to know how egregious it is,” he stated.

Reactions to the warrants came inside minutes of the announcement, with Kremlin officials immediately dismissing them.

Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated any of the court’s choices have been “null and void” and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrant to toilet paper.

“No will need to clarify Exactly where this paper ought to be utilized,” he wrote on Twitter, with a toilet paper emoji.

On the other hand Russian opposition leaders welcomed the announcement. Ivan Zhdanov, a close ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, tweeted that it was “a symbolic step” but an crucial a single.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated he was grateful to Mr Khan and the criminal court for their selection to press charges against “state evil”.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor Common Andriy Kostin stated the selection was “historic for Ukraine”, although the country’s presidential chief of employees, Andriy Yermak, lauded the selection as “only the starting”.

Video caption,

WATCH: Can Vladimir Putin in fact be arrested?

But due to the fact Russia is not a signed member of the ICC, there is pretty small possibility that Vladimir Putin or Maria Lvova-Belova will seem in the dock at The Hague.

The ICC relies on the cooperation of governments to arrest men and women, and Russia is “clearly not going to cooperate in this respect”, Jonathan Leader Maynard, a lecturer in international politics at King’s College London, told the BBC.

On the other hand Mr Khan pointed out that no-a single believed Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who went on trial for war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, would finish up in The Hague.

“These that really feel that you can commit a crime in the daytime, and sleep properly at evening, ought to probably appear at history,” he stated.

Legally, having said that, this does present Mr Putin with a issue.

There is also a level of embarrassment for the Kremlin, which has generally denied allegations of Russian war crimes, that such an influential, pan-national physique as the ICC merely does not think its denials.

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