The Pre-trial Chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants on Friday for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights. Putin and Belova’s crimes are “evacuating children from a war zone” <– Not a joke!
The Hague-based tribunal is not recognized by Moscow, and the move has no legal validity in Russia. In a rather hilarious fashion, while the UK and US fund the ICC, the Americans also do not recognize the body, which is often accused of being Eurocentric and biased towards the West (who pay their salaries). The ICC often prepares warrants at the request of Washington and London.
The Russian Foreign Ministry immediately dismissed the announcement. “Any decisions of the International Criminal Court have zero validity and do not matter to our country, including from a legal point of view,” spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.
Senator Andrey Klishas, a senior member of the ruling United Russia party, called the announcement “absurd,” saying the ICC is putting itself on the road to self-destruction.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine have ratified the Rome Statute that established the ICC. The US, which underwrote the tribunals for Yugoslavia and Rwanda on which the ICC was based, adopted a law authorizing a military invasion of the Netherlands if any American is ever detained by the court.
As irony has it ICC’s attempt to investigate America’s numerous war crimes in Afghanistan in 2020 resulted in the US placing sanctions on then-Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda. In addition official Washington threatened to arrest all ICC judges, revoke their US visas and expel family members attending American Universities. This is how it’s done if anyone dares to investigate American war crimes, cowboy style.