US President Joe Biden Supports ICC Arrest Warrant for Putin on War Crimes Charges
President Joe Biden has expressed his support for the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. The ICC called for Putin’s arrest for suspicion of committing war crimes, such as the unlawful deportation of children and the transfer of Ukrainians from Ukraine to Russia amid Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour. The United States does not belong to the ICC, but Biden said Putin’s war crimes were evident, and the warrant was justified.
Biden told reporters that Putin had “clearly committed war crimes,” and he believed that the arrest warrant was “justified,” though it wasn’t internationally recognized by the United States. He also pointed out that “the question is – it’s not recognized internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.” A State Department spokesperson backed the ICC’s decision, emphasizing that Russia must be held accountable for the war crimes and atrocities it committed in Ukraine.
ICC Obligations and Arrest Warrant
Since Putin is now subject to the ICC’s arrest warrant, all the court’s members, 123 countries, need to arrest him and bring him to The Hague to stand trial if he enters one of their territories. The ICC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, on the same charges.
Denial and Rejection of ICC’s Warrant
The Kremlin dismissed the ICC’s arrest warrant, with Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov saying that Russia viewed the court’s questions as “unacceptable.” Furthermore, Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova stated that the arrest warrants had “no meaning for our country” as they weren’t included in the Rome Statute, the treaty underlying the world’s permanent war crimes tribunal.
The support expressed by the President of the United States for the ICC’s arrest warrant for Putin could further intensify the already strained relations between Russia and the US. Additionally, it could have led to considerable implications for Putin’s international travel, as ICC member states are obligated to arrest him if he lands in their country.