Russia reacts to German minister's statement about Berlin’s readiness to arrest Putin

19 March, 07:10 PM
Vladimir Putin in Crimea (Photo:Sputnik/Russian Presidential Press Office/Kremlin via REUTERS)

Vladimir Putin in Crimea (Photo:Sputnik/Russian Presidential Press Office/Kremlin via REUTERS)

Russia will “make a legal assessment” of a statement by German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann's that Berlin is ready to arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin if he appears in the country, a senior Russian official has said.

The head of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, asked his committee to produce the legal assessment, Russian state news agency TASS reported on March 19.

The Investigative Committee of Russia also announced its decision to add to its sanctions lists the persons who issued the warrant against the Russian dictator. This applies to the judges of the International Criminal Court Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Antoine Kesia-Mbe Mindua and Tomoko Akane.

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The International Criminal Court or ICC, based in The Hague, the Netherlands, issued arrest warrants for Putin and Russian Children's Ombudsperson, Maria 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 Prosecutor General's Office has recorded the deportation of more than 16,000 children from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson oblasts, but the real number may be much higher. Ukraine has only managed to return 308 children home.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin has said that Putin can be arrested in the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute – the founding charter of the ICC. Germany and all the other EU countries are signatories.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov have said the Kremlin considers the warrant "legally null and void" because Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute.

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