MOSCOW: The Kremlin said on Friday that an arrest warrant for war crimes issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague against Russian president Vladimir Putin was outrageous, but meaningless with respect to Russia.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia found the very questions raised by the ICC “outrageous and unacceptable”, but noted that Russia, like many other countries, did not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC.
“And accordingly, any decisions of this kind are null and void for the Russian Federation from the point of view of law.”
Asked if Putin now feared travelling to countries that recognised the ICC and might therefore try to arrest him, Peskov told reporters: “I have nothing to add on this subject. That’s all we want to say.”
Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, was like Putin accused by the ICC of the war crime of illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.
“It’s great that the international community has appreciated this work to help the children of our country: that we don’t leave them in war zones, that we take them out, that we create good conditions for them, that we surround them with loving, caring people,” she told journalists, according to the state-run RIA news agency.
Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but never ratified it to become a member of the ICC, and finally withdrew its signature in 2016.
At the time, Russia was under international pressure over its seizure and unilateral annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, as well as a campaign of air strikes in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad’s war against rebels.