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19 Mar, 2023 12:54

Russia reacts to German stance on Putin arrest warrant

Moscow’s top investigative authority will “give a legal assessment” of the justice minister’s readiness to comply with the ICC order
Russia reacts to German stance on Putin arrest warrant

Russia’s Investigative Committee will look into claims made by a high-ranking German official, who stated that Berlin will enforce the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin if he enters Germany.

In a statement on Sunday, the committee said that its chairman, Aleksandr Bastrykin, issued instructions to “give a required legal assessment of the German Justice minister’s statements about the arrest of Russian citizens,” while describing the ICC demands as “illegal.”

Russia’s ambassador to Germany, Sergey Nechayev, said Berlin’s position on the ICC warrant “gives cause for extreme concern” and serves as further proof of Germany’s desire for escalation.

On Friday, the ICC issued warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights, claiming that the two were involved in the “unlawful deportation” of children “from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.” 

Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov noted that the court is not recognized in Russia, meaning the warrants are “null and void from the legal standpoint.”

However, German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann described the ICC warrant as an “important signal of determination,” stating that Berlin would be obliged to apprehend the Russian president and hand him over to the court should he enter Germany.

The ICC decision was, not surprisingly, hailed by Ukraine, while US President Joe Biden described it as “justified,” despite the fact that neither Washington nor Moscow recognize the court’s jurisdiction. The Russian Embassy in the US suggested that Biden’s position on the matter seems schizophrenic.