March 21, 2023

General Secretary UN António Guterres is still willing to talk to Putin despite the fact that the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued an arrest warrant for the Russian president. This was stated on Friday, March 17 by the representative of the office of the UN Secretary General Stephane Dujarric.

“We take the position that the Secretary General will talk to whom he needs to talk to in order to resolve the issues that are before him,” Dujarric said. According to the UN speaker, the ICC is not legally connected with the UN Secretariat in the context of such issues. Accordingly, Putin did not become persona non grata for the UN.

At the same time, Dujarric declined to answer the question of whether restrictions on his freedom of movement would interfere with potential negotiations with the Russian president. Lawyer Sergei Golubok, admitted to practice at the International Criminal Court, explained to the We Can Explain Telegram channel that if Putin visits one of these countries that have ratified the Rome Statute and also recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, local authorities will have to arrest him. We are talking about 123 states, including all countries of Europe, South America, as well as Tajikistan, South Africa, Afghanistan, the Central African Republic and Nigeria.

Putin is suspected of deporting children

That International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin, was reported on the ICC website on Friday, March 17. The court suspects the President of Russia of war crimes, in particular violent deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine in the Russian Federation. There are sufficient grounds to believe that Putin bears personal criminal responsibility for these crimes – directly, together with other persons or through other persons – and also for the fact that he “did not exercise proper control over the civilian and military subordinates who committed these acts or admitted them and which were under his effective authority and control,” the statement said.

A similar arrest warrant was issued against Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights under the President of the Russian Federation. The ICC ruling states that the court in The Hague “has sufficient grounds to believe that she bears individual criminal responsibility for the above crimes, since she committed these acts directly, jointly with other persons and / or through other persons.”

Moscow denies any involvement in war crimes committed in Ukraine following the Russian military attack on that country on February 24, 2022. Russia does not recognize jurisdiction International Criminal Court and does not participate in its work. Since 2016, it has not been a party to the Rome Statute, which determines the actions of the court. In turn, the ICC does not recognize the immunity of heads of state in the case of investigation and punishment of war crimes.

Zelensky called Putin’s arrest warrant a “historic decision”

Issuance of the ICC warrant for the arrest of the Russian president sparked an international backlash. The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, called the order of the court in The Hague the beginning of a process to “bring the perpetrators to justice.” German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann called the incident “an important signal of determination.” “Who, like Putin, unleashes a bloody war, he must answer for it in court,” he said in an interview with the Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND) group.

President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in an evening video message to citizens called the warrant for the arrest of Putin “a historic decision, from which historical responsibility will begin”. “The head of a terrorist state and another official of Russia have officially become suspects in a war crime. In the deportation of Ukrainian children – the illegal transfer of thousands of our children to the territory of a terrorist state,” the Ukrainian leader emphasized.

See also:

The court in The Hague issued a warrant for the arrest of Putin: what will happen next?

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