President Vladimir Putin of Russia has been issued with an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia.
The ICC made the announcement on Friday, stating that the prosecution had submitted applications for the warrant on February 22, 2023.
Upon receiving the news from Moscow, Maria Zakharova, a spokesperson for the Russian foreign ministry, issued the initial response saying, “The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view.”
“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”
The court holds Putin accountable for crimes committed on Ukrainian soil since February 24, 2022, making him the third sitting president after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi to receive an ICC arrest warrant.
Although it is unlikely that Putin will face trial soon, the warrant could result in his arrest and extradition to The Hague if he travels to any ICC member nations.
The court issued the warrant on the grounds of unlawful deportation of children and people from Ukraine to Russia.
Additionally, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, on the same charges.
While Russia claims that the program is a humanitarian effort to safeguard orphans and children left in the conflict zone, it has openly transported thousands of Ukrainian children to the country.
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