EU backs ICC decision on arrest warrant for Putin
The EU views the ICC’s decision as the beginning of the process to bring justice to those responsible (Photo:REUTERS/Yves Herman)
The European Union has declared its support for the International Criminal Court (ICC)’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who could now be detained in 123 countries, the EU High Representative said in a statement on March 19.
"The European Union has taken note of the decision of the International Criminal Court’s Pre-Trial Chamber II to issue arrest warrants against the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, and Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President Maria Lvova-Belova, in connection with alleged crimes of unlawful deportation and unlawful transfer of children in the context of the situation in Ukraine," the message reads.
The EU views the ICC’s decision as the beginning of the process to bring justice to those responsible, including the Russian leadership, for the crimes committed in Ukraine, the statement goes on. The EU also supports the ICC’s investigations in Ukraine and calls for full cooperation from all State Parties.
Located in The Hague, Netherlands, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Lvova-Belova on March 17. They are accused of a war crime – deporting thousands of children from Ukraine to Russia since Feb. 24, 2022.
The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has documented the deportation of over 16,000 children from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson regions, but the actual number could be much higher. Ukraine has only been able to return 308 children to their homes.
Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin, stated that Putin can be arrested in the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. All EU countries, including Germany, are signatories.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov have argued that the arrest warrant is "legally null and void" because Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute.
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