KYIV, UKRAINE: Ukrainian officials on Friday hailed a decision by the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children.
The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights.
Russia is not a member of the ICC. It was unclear how the ICC planned to enforce the warrant. “The world received a signal that the Russian regime is criminal and its leadership and henchmen will be held accountable,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said on social media.
“This is a historic decision for Ukraine and the entire system of international law,” Kostin added.
“World leaders will think three times before shaking his hand or sitting down at the negotiating table with him.”
Ukraine’s presidential chief of staff, Andriy Yermak, said the move was “just the beginning”. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also welcomed the news.
“(The) wheels of justice are turning. I applaud the ICC decision,” Kuleba said.
“International criminals will be held accountable for stealing children and other international crimes.” Ukrainian presidential aide Mykhaylo Podolyak said the decision was “a clear signal to (Russian) elites of what will happen to them and why it won’t be ‘as before'”.
Russia says ICC warrant for Putin has ‘no meaning’
Moscow dismissed decisions by the International Criminal Court on Friday as having “no meaning” for Russia, after The Hague-based court issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on social media.
“Russia is not a party of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it,” she added.
“Russia does not cooperate with this body and possible ‘recipes’ for arrest coming from the international court will be legally void as far as we are concerned,” she said without referring to Putin by name.
The ICC on Friday announced it had issued an arrest warrant against Putin for the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children.
Russia is not a member of the ICC. It was unclear how the ICC planned to enforce the warrant.