The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes against children committed during his invasion of Ukraine.
On similar charges, the Hague-based International Criminal Court also put out a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights.
The court issued a news release on Friday stating that the two are “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.”
Russia is not a member of the ICC and it is unclear how the ICC plan to enforce the warrant.
This unprecedented verdict will obligate the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory.
Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year invasion of its neighbor and the Kremlin branded the court decision as “null and void”.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a member of the ICC. Although Kyiv granted it jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed on its territory. The tribunal has no police force of its own and relies on member states to make arrests when the accused sets foot on their territory.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia found the very questions raised by the ICC “outrageous and unacceptable”.
Asked if Putin now feared traveling to countries that are a member of the ICC, Peskov said: “I have nothing to add on this subject. That’s all we want to say.”