Will anything come from this?
On Friday (March 17), the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, charging him with war crimes and alleging he was involved in the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.
The ICC also made an arrest warrant for Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights in the Federation’s Office of the President, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
Lvova-Belova is Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President. In its arrest warrant, the ICC alleges Lvova-Belova “bears individual criminal responsibility” for the deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia.
Friday’s arrest warrant marks one of the first serious charges brought against Putin for the war crimes committed in the Ukraine conflict, which started with a full-scale attack in February 2022.
In a video statement on Friday, the President of the ICC, Judge Piotr Hofmański, explained that international law forbids “occupying powers to transfer civilians from the territory they live into other territories,” adding that “under the Geneva Convention,” children are afforded special protections.
Although bringing Putin before an international court is unlikely, the arrest warrant serves as a stern global rebuke against the Russian President.
However, Hofmański noted that it would take “international cooperation” to bring Putin to book.
Also on Friday, Maria Zakharova, spokesperson for Russia’s Foreign Ministry, rejected the arrest warrant in a statement on the Telegram Channel of the Russian Foreign Ministry.
Writing in Russian, Zakharova asserted that Russia wouldn’t be cooperating with the ICC, adding that the warrant is “legally null and void for us.”
However, the ICC asserts it can bring charges against Russian officials as Ukraine has accepted its jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed in Ukrainian territory.