International

For Russia, ICC Arrest Warrant Against President Putin Is As Good As 'Toilet Paper'

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin, holding him responsible for alleged war crimes, including the abductions of children from Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin
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A Kremlin spokesperson on Friday rejected the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, likening it to a toilet paper roll. Moscow has already asserted that The Hague-based court’s move was legally “void” since Russia does not recognise ICC’s jurisdiction.

“The International Criminal Court has issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin. No need to explain WHERE this paper should be used,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Medvedev tweeted, adding a toilet paper emoji next to it.

The arrest warrant was related to war crimes, including the abductions of children from Ukraine, which accused Russian President Putin of personal responsibility.

The court said in a statement that Putin "is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of (children) and that of unlawful transfer of (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation."

The move was welcomed by Russia’s opposition members and Ukraine officials as a breakthrough.

But Russia is not a member of the ICC. It also does not extradite its citizens ever.

Moreover, the ICC does not even have a police force of its own to enforce warrants. So the practical implications of the move could well be negligible. 

While Ukraine is also not a member of the global court, it has granted it jurisdiction over its territory and ICC prosecutor Karim Khan has visited four times since opening an investigation a year ago. 

Besides Russia and Ukraine, the United States and China are not members of the 123-member ICC.

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