The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of war crimes during the invasion of Ukraine.
Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, are both wanted by the ICC for illegally deporting and transporting Ukrainian children to Russia.
The arrest warrants are the first international charges to be brought since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and the first against a leader of a country with a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.
“This is an important moment in the justice process,” said ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmański in a video statement.
Hofmański noted that, in accordance with procedures, the court’s chief prosecutor presented his case against the two men to a panel of pre-trial judges, who concluded that there were “credible allegations” against them.
The ICC does not grant diplomatic immunity to leaders accused of war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide.
Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that gave birth to the ICC, and Putin or Lvova-Belova are unlikely to be prosecuted.
“The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin,” wrote Dmitry Medvedev, former Russian president and current deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council. Twitter. “No need to explain WHERE this paper should be used🧻.”
But the charges, which do not expire, will make the pair international pariahs.
“The ICC is doing its part. As a court, the judges issued arrest warrants. Their execution depends on international cooperation,” Hofmański said.