What Are the Consequences of an ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin? Here’s the Explanation


The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Photo/Illustration/Sindonews

JAKARTA – The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. While Putin probably won’t see the inside of his cell in The Hague, Netherlands, anytime soon, a warrant for his war crimes arrest could undermine his ability to travel freely and meet other world leaders.

Putin is the third head of state to be indicted by the ICC while still in power. Following are the consequences that the Kremlin leader received with the issuance of an arrest warrant by the ICC as reported by Channel News Asia, Sunday (19/3/2023).


The ICC holds Putin responsible for the war crimes of deporting Ukrainian children – at least hundreds, maybe more – to Russia.

The Kremlin quickly rejected the accusations and Russia’s foreign minister said the ICC decision had no meaning for Russia, including from a legal point of view.


The 123 member states of the ICC are obliged to detain and transfer Putin if he sets foot on their territory. Russia is not a member and neither are China, the United States or India, which are hosting a summit later this year of leaders of the G20 group of major economies, including Russia.

The world’s permanent war crimes tribunal was created by the Rome Statute, a treaty ratified by all EU countries, as well as Australia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, 33 African countries, and 19 countries in the South Pacific.

Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but then withdrew its support in 2016, after the ICC classified Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula as an armed conflict.

“Putin is not stupid. He will not travel abroad to a country where he might be arrested,” said Iva Vukusic, assistant professor of history at Utrecht University.

“He won’t be able to travel pretty much anywhere else outside of countries that are clearly allied or at least allied (with) Russia,” Vukusic explained.


Former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi were the only other leaders to be indicted by the ICC while serving as heads of state. The charges against Gaddafi were dropped after he was toppled and killed in 2011.

Bashir, who was indicted in 2009 for genocide in Darfur, remained in office for another decade until being ousted in a coup. He has been tried in Sudan for other crimes but has not yet been turned over to the ICC.

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