According to the Kremlin, the International Criminal Court’s charges against Vladimir Putin are irrelevant to Russia’s jurisdiction.
US President Joe Biden said that Vladimir Putin had clearly committed war crimes in Ukraine and that the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for the Russian president was justified.
Although the United States, like Russia, is not a party to the international court, Biden said the ICC has made a strong case against Putin.
“He has clearly committed war crimes,” Biden told reporters on Friday. “I think it’s warranted,” he said, referring to the warrant.
– We also do not recognize it internationally. But I think it’s a very strong point, he added.
Earlier on Friday, the International Criminal Court called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of his involvement in the illegal deportation and transfer of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia after Moscow invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for the Russian Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova on the same charges.
The ICC order now obliges the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he enters their territory.
According to the Kremlin, the court’s charges against Putin were outrageous and irrelevant to Russia’s jurisdiction.
A U.S.-backed report released last month by researchers at Yale University found that Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in at least 43 camps and other facilities as part of an “extensive systematic network.”
The Ukrainian government recently announced that more than 14,700 children have been deported to Russia, including more than 1,000 from the port city of Mariupol, which was besieged for weeks and destroyed.
The United States has separately determined that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine and supports the accountability of the perpetrators of war crimes, a State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in Ukraine), and we have been clear that the perpetrators must be held accountable,” the spokesman added.
Piotr Hofmanski, president of the International Criminal Court, said in a video statement that while the court’s judges had issued the arrest warrants, it was up to the international community to enforce them. The court does not have its own police force for this.
The International Criminal Court can impose a maximum penalty of life imprisonment “because of the extreme gravity of the crime,” according to its founding treaty, the Rome Statute. This established the ICC as a permanent last resort to prosecute political leaders and other key actors for the world’s worst atrocities – war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.