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20 Mar, 2023 08:47

Putin arrest warrant shows international law is collapsing – Medvedev

The order cannot be executed and highlights the deficiencies of the International Criminal Court, the ex-Russian president said
Putin arrest warrant shows international law is collapsing – Medvedev

The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin is a sign of the collapse of the system of international law, former President Dmitry Medvedev has said.

Medvedev dismissed the judicial body as “s**tty and wanted by nobody,” citing its poor record of holding high-profile suspects accountable. Even former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been wanted by the court since 2005, “spits on the charges, and despite a military coup at home [in 2019], remains unavailable,” the former president, who currently serves as deputy chair of the Russian Security Council, said in a social media post on Monday.

The biggest demonstration of the ICC’s impotence was its failed attempt to investigate war crimes committed by US troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, he stated. 

Washington derailed the court’s probe. John Bolton, the national security adviser under then-President Donald Trump, mused at the time that “for all intents and purposes, the ICC is already dead,” so Washington will allow it to “die on its own.”

Last week’s decision by the ICC’s Pre-Trial Chamber to go after the leader of another nuclear power that likewise refused to recognize its jurisdiction is obviously just for show, Medvedev said, adding that this will only serve to eradicate whatever trust in international institutions remains.

Even before the ICC issued its arrest warrant for Putin, international law was undermined by the court’s pro-Western bias, which infringes on the sovereignty of non-Western states, the former president noted. Nations ignore rulings that they perceive as inherently unjust and prefer to make direct agreements between each other, while “stupid decisions of the UN and other structures come apart at the seams.”

Medvedev added that one could “imagine a situation” in which the building of the ICC in The Hague could be struck by a Russian hypersonic missile. “This court is just a puny international organization, not a NATO nation’s people. They would not dare to start a war over it. No one would even be sorry about it.”