USA: Arrest warrant for Putin is justified

The President of the United States, Joe Biden, said that he believes that the International Criminal Court’s decision to indict President Vladimir Putin is “justified”.

“I think it is justified. Although we don’t know (the court), I think it sends a very strong message,” said President Biden.

On Friday, the International Criminal Court announced that it had issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes, due to his suspected involvement in the abduction of children from Ukraine.

“Today, March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court has issued two arrest warrants regarding the situation in Ukraine, for Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, and for Maria Lvova-Belovan, Commissioner of the Office of the Russian President for Children’s Rights, of accused of the war crime of deporting children from the occupied territories in Ukraine. It is prohibited by international law for occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory where they live to other territories. Children enjoy special protection under the Geneva Convention”, said Piotr Hofmanski, President of the International Criminal Court.

Although the International Criminal Court has indicted world leaders before, this is the first time it has issued an arrest warrant for the leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council.

The decisions were immediately condemned by Moscow and welcomed by Ukraine, which considered them a major breakthrough. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that Russia does not recognize the International Criminal Court and considers its decisions “legally invalid”. He added that Russia considers the court’s action “harsh and unacceptable behavior”.

However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the International Criminal Court’s decision and noted its importance during a visit to Japan on Saturday.

“I don’t have much to add. No one is above the law. This is a very important pillar of international law. We all know that the International Criminal Court is an important institution, whose mandate is given through international treaties”, said Chancellor Scholz.

The president of the court, Mr. Hofmanski, says that according to the Rome Statute it is possible and even a legal obligation for member countries to cooperate with the court, which “includes the implementation of arrest warrants”. However, their implementation is in the hands of the international community. The court does not have its own police force to enforce the decisions made.

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