ICC Issues Unprecedented Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for President Putin, citing his regime's mass deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia, where many have been adopted by Russian families. An arrest warrant was also issued for Russia's commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
The Rome Statute, which established the ICC in 1998, recognises the forced deportation of populations as a crime. Russia, which was initially a signatory to the Rome statute, withdrew its participation in in 2016, saying it did not recognise the jurisdiction of the court.
While the move is unlikely to result in Putin’s arrest, as the ICC has no power to arrest suspects without the cooperation of a national government, the move places limitations on the Russian dictator’s ability to travel internationally. He may now be arrested should he attempt to enter any of the ICC’s 123 signatory nations.
US President Joe Biden welcomed the issuing of the arrest warrant and noted that, while the court does not hold sway in the US, its action “makes a very strong point” against Putin. “He’s clearly committed war crimes,” he said in a statement to journalists.
Ben Emmerson, lead lawyer for the government of Ukraine, also spoke positively about the warrant. Speaking with Sky News, he said that “this is clearly the first shot in what might be eventually a much more substantial indictment against President Putin.”