ICC judges issue arrest warrant for Putin over war crimes in Ukraine

FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a meeting of the collegium of the Prosecutor General's office in Moscow, Russia, March 15, 2023. Sputnik/Pavel Bednyakov/Pool via REUTERS

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant on Friday against Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of being responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.

Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its one-year invasion of its neighbour.

The ICC arrest warrants "have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel.

She added that Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty underpinning the world's permanent war crimes tribunal.

In its first warrant for Ukraine, the ICC called for Putin's arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Earlier this week Reuters reported that the court was expected to issue warrants.

Separately the court issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's Commissioner for Children's Rights, on the same charges.

Russia has not concealed a programme under which it has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but presents it as a humanitarian campaign to protect orphans and children abandoned in the conflict zone.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan opened an investigation into possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine a year ago. He highlighted during four trips to Ukraine that he was looking at alleged crimes against children and the targeting of civilian infrastructure.

The ICC said in a statement Putin stands accused of the war crime of unlawful deportation from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

"The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes."

(Reporting by Bart Meijer;Editing by Gareth Jones and Frank Jack Daniel)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

Blinken says expanding human rights will boost Saudi reform drive
Factbox-France stabbing: what we know so far about the Annecy attack on toddlers
Montenegro set for snap election to secure reforms, path to EU
Analysis-Mexico president puts unity first to broker compromise in succession race
How El Nino could impact the world's weather in 2023-24
Peru extradites Dutch murderer in case of missing Alabama teen
Children evacuated from orphanage where dozens died in Sudan's capital
Pat Robertson, conservative Christian evangelist, dead at 93
Hundreds plucked from flooded homes; Ukraine dismisses counteroffensive reports
US FAA halts some flights to New York, says wildfires hurting visibility

Others Also Read