The German government has vowed to execute the International Criminal Court (ICC) warrant against Vladimir Putin and arrest the Russian president for alleged war crimes in Ukraine if he ever enters Germany’s territory.
As Slay News reported, the Hague-based ICC issued the warrant late last week, accusing Putin of human rights abuses during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
German Justice Minister Marco Bushman stipulated that the Russian leader will be detained if he steps foot in Germany.
“I expect that the International Criminal Court in The Hague will swiftly approach Interpol as well as the contracting states and ask them for enforcement,” Bushman told Germany’s Bild am Sonntag newspaper on Sunday.
The warning comes after German Chancellor Olaf Scholz welcomed the ICC ruling.
“No one is above the law,” Scholz stressed.
The ICC’s Friday statement alleges that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
“Today, 17 March 2023, Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court … issued arrest warrants against two individuals in connection with the situation in Ukraine: Mr. Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Ms. Maria Alekseevna Lvova-Belova,” the statement added, referencing Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova.
However, the ICC warrant remains largely symbolic, given the ICC doesn’t have a police force or enforcement mechanism.
Thus sovereign governments, Germany in this case, would have to take action on it.
Nevertheless, it does complicate Putin’s ability to travel to European or other capitals which cooperate with the ICC.
This also means it could hinder peace efforts in the scenario Putin might choose to personally engage in negotiations or diplomacy in a European city.
The Kremlin has responded that arguing that the ICC warrant is “legally null and void.”
The Russian government declared that it doesn’t recognize the international court’s decisions.
The US is also not a signatory to the ICC.
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