The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian official Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for the alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia, according to media reports.
The Hague-based ICC accused the Russian president of responsibility for war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine during the war that has been ongoing for over a year.
The Hague-based court stated on Friday Putin ‘is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation’.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov insisted that Russia doesn’t recognise the ICC and considers its decisions ‘legally void’. He added that Russia considers the court’s move ‘outrageous and unacceptable’
Russia denies committing atrocities since it invaded Ukraine in February last year.
Russia denies harming civilians but its defence ministry has stated to have targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Russia signed the Rome statute, which governs the ICC, in 2000 but never ratified the agreement to become a member.
It formally withdrew its signature from the ICC’s founding statute in 2016, a day after the court issued a report labelling Russia’s annexation of Crimea as an occupation.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin has severed ties with a number of major international organisations, further isolating the country from the West.
In March last year, Russia was expelled from the Council of Europe, the continent’s leading human rights watchdog, over its attack on Ukraine.
Moscow is also pulling out of the International Space Station after 2024 and has threatened to withdraw from the World Trade Organisation and the World Health Organisation.