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Russia says ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin is “meaningless”.


The International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin has no meaning for the country, as the country had withdrawn from the ICC treaty in 2016, a State Department spokeswoman said, according to a report by CNN.

Maria Zakharova, a foreign ministry spokeswoman, said: “Russia is not a member of the ICC and has no obligations. Russia is not cooperating with this body and possible arrest by the International Court of Justice will be legally null and void for us .”

Former Russian President and Deputy Chairman of the Security Council of Russia Dmitry Medvedev compared the ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin to toilet paper.

“The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin. No need to explain WHERE this paper should be used (with the toilet paper emoji),” he tweeted.

Putin faces arrest warrant for war crimes in Ukraine

The ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for alleged war crimes, including the kidnapping of children from Ukraine. It accuses Putin of responsibility for the “unlawful deportation” and “illegitimate transfer” of children from occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, a Russian child rights official, on similar charges. However, enforcement of arrest warrants depends on international cooperation, as the ICC does not have its own police force.

The possibility of a trial at the ICC is slim, as Russia does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction and does not extradite its nationals. Although Ukraine is not a member of the ICC, it has granted the court jurisdiction over its territory, and the ICC prosecutor has visited four times since the opening of an investigation a year ago.

A UN-backed investigation also listed Russian attacks on civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and murder in occupied territories, as war crimes and crimes against humanity. The investigation found that crimes have been committed against Ukrainians on Russian territory, including deported Ukrainian children who could not be reunited with their families.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.