Diplomatic tension mounts as warrant issued for dictator – Kuleba

26 March, 10:48 AM
Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Dmytro Kuleba (Photo:REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Following the issuance of an arrest warrant for the Russian dictator Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court (ICC), a “backstage diplomatic battle” is likely to unfold, Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said in an interview on TV channel ICTV on March 24.

“A huge backstage diplomatic battle for respect of obligations under the Rome Statute will now unfold... (As for South Africa), the issue is no longer about Putin or Ukraine, but rather if the ICC arrest warrant is openly disregarded, it will destroy the International Criminal Court,” stated the minister.

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Kuleba said that the ICC itself is now interested in having its orders executed, and all countries that support the ICC should “get involved in a backstage diplomatic battle to ensure the execution of the arrest warrant.”

“Of course, South Africa will not refuse Putin's (visit) because he is their political ally... But to ignore (the ICC arrest warrant) – I don't think South Africa will be able to openly and boldly ignore it... It is better to fight attempts not to execute the arrest warrant for Putin, than to fight for such a warrant to be issued in the first place,” added the minister.

He praised the actions of the International Criminal Court and emphasized that if the court issued an arrest warrant for Putin's involvement in the abduction of Ukrainian children, then the Russian dictator will also be among those accused in other cases related to Russia's crimes in Ukraine.

The ICC issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russia’s children’s ombudsman, Maria Lvova-Belova, for their involvement in the unlawful removal of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation since Feb. 24, 2022.

The dictator can be arrested in 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, as explained by the head of the ICC, Piotr Hofmanski.

Bloomberg agency previously reported that South Africa, a Rome Statute ratifying country, is exploring options for avoiding having to execute the ICC's warrant. South Africa confirmed on March 23 that it had officially invited the Russian dictator to the BRICS summit.

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