The International Criminal Court (ICC), based in The Hague, Netherlands, issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for the deportation of children in areas of Ukraine occupied by Russia, which he denounced as a “senseless decision.”
The ICC also called for the arrest, for the same reason considered a war crime, of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, presidential commissioner for Children's Rights in Russia, the court based in The Hague said in a statement issued on Friday.
The warrant for Putin's arrest is just the beginning of seeking justice, said the head of the Ukrainian presidential administration, Andrii Yermak, on Telegram.
The prosecution of the former Soviet republic, which has been facing a Russian invasion since February 2022, praised the historic decision.
The court did not specify how it intends to execute the arrest warrants, especially since Russia is not a member of the ICC.
The decisions of the International Criminal Court are meaningless for our country, even from a legal point of view, wrote Russian diplomacy spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Telegram.
qAccording to the ICC, created in 2002, Putin is presumably responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of [children] population and illegal transfer of [children] population from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.
The crimes would have been committed on Ukrainian territory occupied at least since February 24, 2022, the court continued.
The international court considers that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin is personally responsible for the mentioned crimes.
The Russian leader is allegedly directly responsible for those acts and for his inability to exercise proper control over civilian and military subordinates who committed or allowed the acts to be committed, according to the court's statement.
The US newspaper New York Times reported on Monday that the court would open two cases against Russian officials for actions committed in Ukraine.
According to the newspaper, the first case to be tried was the alleged kidnapping of Ukrainian children by Moscow.
The second would be related to the deliberate bombing of civilian infrastructure in Ukraine, such as power and water supply plants.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan declared this month after a visit to Ukraine that the alleged kidnappings of children were a priority investigation.
Children cannot be treated as war booty, he said.
Khan emphasized that when he visited a care center for children in southern Ukraine, it was empty, following the alleged deportation of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation or to other areas occupied by Moscow.
The court has been investigating possible war crimes or crimes against humanity committed in Ukraine during the Russian offensive for more than a year.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine are members of the ICC, but the Kiev government has accepted the court's jurisdiction and is cooperating with Khan's office.
Russia denies committing war crimes in its military operation. (AFP)
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