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Biden backs ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin over war crime charges


US President Joe Biden. AFP/File
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WASHINGTON: Joe Biden stated Friday the Worldwide Felony Courtroom’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on accusations of a battle crime for deporting Ukrainian kids was “justified.”

The transfer “makes a really robust level,” the US president informed reporters on the White Home, whereas noting that the USA will not be a member of the ICC.

The Worldwide Felony Courtroom on Friday introduced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the battle crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian kids.

The Hague-based ICC stated it had additionally issued a warrant in opposition to Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for youngsters’s rights, on comparable expenses.

Moscow dismissed the orders as “void.” Russia will not be a celebration to the ICC so it was unclear if or how Putin may ever find yourself within the dock.

Struggle-battered Ukraine welcomed the ICC announcement, with President Volodymyr Zelensky hailing the “historic resolution.”

The court docket’s shock discover got here hours after different information with the potential to considerably affect Russia’s battle on Ukraine, together with a Moscow go to from Chinese language chief Xi Jinping and extra fighter jets for Kyiv’s forces.

Greater than 16,000 Ukrainian kids have been deported to Russia because the February 24, 2022 invasion, in keeping with Kyiv, with many allegedly positioned in establishments and foster houses.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan informed AFP that Putin was now responsible for arrest if he set foot in any of the court docket’s greater than 120 member states.

He stated the arrest warrants have been “primarily based upon forensic proof, scrutiny and what’s been stated by these two people”.

“The proof we offered centered on crimes in opposition to kids. Youngsters are probably the most weak a part of our society,” stated Khan.

The ICC stated judges discovered there have been “affordable grounds” to suspect Putin’s legal accountability and grant Khan’s utility for the warrants, which have been made again on February 22.

ICC President Piotr Hofmanski stated the execution of the warrants “depends upon worldwide cooperation”.

‘Historic resolution’

Throughout a gathering with Putin in mid-February, Lvova-Belova stated she adopted a 15-year-old youngster from the devastated Ukrainian port metropolis of Mariupol.

“Now I do know what it means to be a mom of a kid from Donbas — it’s a tough job however we love one another, that’s for certain,” she informed Putin.

She added that “we evacuated kids’s houses into secure areas, organized rehabilitation and prosthetics for them and supplied them with focused humanitarian help.”

The arrest warrant for Putin, a sitting head of state of a UN Safety Council member, is an unprecedented step for the ICC.

Arrange in 2002, the ICC is a court docket of final resort for the world’s worst crimes, when nations can not or is not going to prosecute suspects.

Prosecutor Khan launched an investigation into alleged battle crimes and crimes in opposition to humanity in Ukraine simply days after Russia’s invasion.

Khan just lately posted photos from a go to to Ukraine alongside empty cots in an empty kids’s care dwelling, and stated that investigating alleged youngster abduction was a “precedence”.

“It’s poignant,” he stated. “One sees empty cribs and empty beds juxtaposed with work by these kids on the partitions.”

Zelensky, who met Khan on his go to, welcomed the arrest warrants for his nemesis in Moscow.

“A historic resolution from which historic accountability will start,” Zelensky stated.

Ukraine’s Western allies additionally hailed the transfer.

US President Joe Biden stated the warrant was “justified,” and “makes a really robust level,” whereas noting that the USA will not be a member of the ICC.

“There isn’t any doubt that Russia is committing battle crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we now have been clear that these accountable have to be held accountable,” a State Division spokesperson stated. “The ICC Prosecutor is an unbiased actor.”

Britain known as the choice “welcome” and the European Union stated it was “simply the beginning.” Human Rights Watch stated it was a “massive day for the various victims” of Russian forces.


The Kremlin dismissed the warrants.

“Russia, identical to a variety of totally different nations, doesn’t recognise the jurisdiction of this court docket and so from a authorized perspective, the choices of this court docket are void,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov informed reporters.

Former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in contrast the warrants to rest room paper, whereas international ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated they “don’t have any that means” for Russia.

The ICC’s Khan nevertheless stated there have been “so many examples of folks that thought they have been past the attain of the legislation”.

“Take a look at (Slobodan) Milosevic or Charles Taylor or (Radovan) Karadzic or (Ratko) Mladic,” he stated, referring to a sequence of battle criminals from the previous Yugoslavia, and former Liberian president Taylor, who’ve confronted justice.

Earlier within the day, Beijing and Moscow introduced that Chinese language chief and strategic ally Xi can be in Russia subsequent week to signal accords ushering in a brand new period of ties.

The US has accused China of mulling arms shipments to help Russia’s marketing campaign — claims Beijing has strongly denied.

The arrest warrants come a day after UN investigators stated Russia’s pressured switch and deportation of Ukrainian kids to areas underneath its management quantities to a battle crime.

The investigators stated mother and father and kids had spoken of kids being knowledgeable by Russian social providers that they might be positioned in foster households or adopted.

Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, however Kyiv has accepted the court docket’s jurisdiction and is working with Khan’s workplace.

Russia denies allegations of battle crimes by its troops. Consultants have stated it’s unlikely it could ever hand over any suspects.

With combating nonetheless raging in Ukraine, Kyiv welcomed the information Friday that Slovakia will donate 13 MiG-29 warplanes.

Ukraine has lengthy requested fighter jets from Western allies, though it’s in search of primarily fashionable US-made F-16s.

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