Why did the ICC issue an arrest warrant for Putin now?

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (raising his hand) discusses with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court - Mr. Karim Khan (far right) - in Kiev (Ukraine) February 28, 2023 - Photo: Reuters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky (raising his hand) discusses with the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court – Mr. Karim Khan (far right) – in Kiev (Ukraine) February 28, 2023 – Photo: Reuters

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 17 issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Commissioner for Children’s Rights of the Russian Federation Maria Lvova-Belova on charges of “crimes allegedly committed on Ukrainian territory is “occupied” from at least February 24, 2022.

Two interpretations of the ICC

The press release entitled: “The situation in Ukraine: ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova” with less than 500 words main body of deportation and expulsion transfer this child, can only find out in the appendix.

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said these were Ukrainian children “abducted by Russia and brought to Russia and illegally adopted”. From April 14, 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine “called on international organizations to take measures to bring children deported from Russia back to Ukraine”.

“The risk of illegal adoption of Ukrainian children by Russian citizens without complying with all the necessary procedures determined by the laws of Ukraine is serious,” the statement said. Ukrainian President V. Zelensky mentioned the number of 16,000 Ukrainian children forced to be deported to Russia.

Ukrainian news channel Unian.net on April 15, 2022, quoted the Human Rights Commissioner of Ukraine’s Parliament Lyudmila Denisova as saying “there are about 150,000 Ukrainian children in 35 regions of Russia”.

This person asserts that Russia’s claim that this is an orphan “is a brazen lie” because “many children were turned into “orphans” by the Russian military and “most of them still have relatives, relatives, brothers and sisters.” , sisters, brothers, grandparents, guardians in the territories controlled by Ukraine”.

However, as explained on Newsru, Mr. Leonid Slutsky – chairman of the Committee on International Affairs of the State Duma (Russian lower house) – said this was Russia’s sending of children from the war zone in southeastern Ukraine to Russia. . In particular, “this is the children whose parents were injured or killed in the shelling of the Ukrainian army on the above territories”.

Tsargrad TV channel (Russia) said it was “rescuing children from areas controlled by Kiev. The Russian military has done everything possible to organize the evacuation of people from areas where the armed forces are occupied. Ukraine terrorizes civilians”.

The channel recalls the toll of 14,000 people in southeastern Ukraine killed in Ukraine’s “anti-terrorist” operations from 2014 to February 24, 2022, when Russia launched a special military operation.

Public opinion of the parties

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia does not recognize the authority of the ICC and considers its decisions null and void. And Maria Lvova-Belova told RIA news agency (Russia):

“It’s great that the international community appreciates our country’s work in helping children, that we don’t abandon them in war zones. We take them out, create good conditions for them. We surround them with people who love and care.” “We will continue our work,” she said.

Meanwhile, answering in the New York Times, US President Joe Biden said that the arrest warrant for Russian President Putin was a “very strong position”, that “the arrest warrant for Putin is reasonable”. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called the ICC ruling “a historic decision from which historic responsibility will begin”.

UN General Assembly President Csaba Koroshi said he was ready to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin despite the ICC’s arrest warrant, with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic calling it “an unending escalation”.

Explaining the effect of the ICC’s arrest warrant, the BBC on March 18 quoted international law experts from the University of Copenhagen as Gleb Bogush and Kevin Jon Heller as saying “the ICC member states have an obligation to implement this order. And If Putin is on their territory, they have to hand him over to the court.”

But these experts also admit that “legal obligations are one thing, and actions of countries can vary”. The reason is that “in the framework of relations between countries, the head of state has personal immunity, which means that another country cannot arrest him as long as he is in office…”. So, according to experts, “it is a matter of time and now it is difficult to implement the ICC’s decision”.

International Criminal Court (ICC) was established on July 17, 1998 under the Treaty of Rome Statute and entered into force on July 1, 2002. Currently 123 countries have ratified the Rome Statute. Among the countries that do not recognize the ICC are the US, Israel, China, Iran, India and Russia. The ICC should not be confused with the United Nations International Court of Justice.

Why is the ICC issuing the order now?

Perhaps it is no coincidence that the date the ICC issued the arrest warrant for Putin coincided with the time when the Kremlin announced the schedule of the state visit to Russia of Chinese President Xi Jinping (March 20-22). It is clear that the ICC wants to put Beijing in a difficult position and at the same time lower the value of the visit.

Russia’s Ria Novosti news agency points to two issues related to timing:

First, the prolonged economic-financial crisis has started a new cycle in the West with the rapid collapse of two major banks in the US.

Second, several important events taking place this week herald changes in the non-Western world:

1/ The crisis at Swiss bank Credit Suisse was more serious because Chinese and foreign investors withdrew after Credit Suisse froze some Russian assets;

2 / The Minister of Energy of Saudi Arabia said that if the country’s oil is hit with a price ceiling, Saudi Arabia will drastically reduce production and completely stop selling oil to anyone participating in that process.

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