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20 Mar, 2023 12:57

Kremlin ‘unfazed’ by Putin arrest warrant

Taking to heart every jab is a path to nowhere, the president's spokesman has said
Kremlin ‘unfazed’ by Putin arrest warrant

The Russian leadership has taken note of the arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin announced by the International Criminal Court (ICC) last week but is not worried by it, Kremlin press secretary Dmitry Peskov has said. It is just one of many attacks on Russia and its leader, he explained.

“We take notice [of such things], but if we were to take to heart every hostile action, certainly nothing good would come out of it,” Peskov told journalists on Monday. “We are unfazed” and will keep working, he added.

The ICC’s pre-trial chamber announced on Friday that it was seeking the arrests of Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children’s rights. They are suspected of “unlawful deportation of population,” including children, which is how Kiev describes what Moscow regards as the evacuation to safety of civilians from territories at risk of attacks by Ukrainian troops.

The court acts on the authority of the Rome Statute, an international treaty that Russia never ratified and from which it fully withdrew in 2016. Several other major world powers, including the US, China, and India, do not recognize the ICC either. Washington infamously derailed the court’s attempt to investigate war crimes allegedly committed in Iraq and Afghanistan by US troops and their allies under President Donald Trump.

The Russian government dismissed the arrest warrant as irrelevant. Former President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves as deputy chair of the National Security Council, called the court earlier on Monday a “puny international organization.”

The ICC couldn’t even take into custody former Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who was ousted from power in 2019, Medvedev noted. Its move against Putin was performative and only further degrades the system of international law, which is already under strain due to its pro-Western bias, the official argued.