The International Criminal Court issued, on Friday, an arrest warrant in the name of Vladimir Putin, whom it accuses of committing war crimes in Ukraine.
The Hague-based court said in a statement on Friday 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.”
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” added the court, which has no police force of its own to enforce warrants.
The ICC also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the Russian president on similar allegations.
Russia said in retort it does not recognise the ICC’s jurisdiction and does not extradite its nationals.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel after the ICC’s announcement.
However, the likelihood of a trial remains low, some experts say, given that the ICC cannot judge in absentia and Russia is not likely to hand over its officials.