The Kremlin has dismissed the allegations of war crimes and arrest warrant by the ICC, saying The Court warrant holds no water over Russia.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Russian president Vladimir Putin and his children rights commissioner, Maria Lvova-Belova, over allegations of the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children to Russia.
The Court said both Mr Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova were “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
The Pre-Trial Chamber II had initially considered issuing the warrants in secret but decided against it, and made it public knowledge to deter further commission of the crimes.
However, the Kremlin has dismissed the allegations, saying the ICC warrant holds no water over Russia.
“The decisions of the international criminal court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” said Maria Zakharova, spokesperson of Russia’s foreign ministry, on her Telegram channel.
“Russia is not a party to the Rome statute of the international criminal court and bears no obligations under it,” she added.
Many Ukrainian children have been transported to Russia since the war began last year. The federation justified its action as a humanitarian gesture by claiming the children had already been abandoned by their families.
Presidents and other heads of state are not granted immunity by the ICC in trials involving crimes against humanity.
“This is just the beginning,” Andriy Yermak, chief of staff to Ukraine’s president, said in reaction to the arrest warrant.
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