• By Antoinette Radford &amp Frank Gardner, BBC safety correspondent
  • BBC News

17 March 2023

Updated six hours ago

Image supply, Getty Photos

Image caption,

Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, in the course of a meeting final month

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The court alleges he is accountable for war crimes, and has focused its claims on the unlawful deportation of young children from Ukraine to Russia.

It says the crimes have been committed in Ukraine from 24 February 2022 – when Russia launched its complete-scale invasion.

Moscow has denied the allegations and labelled the warrants as “outrageous”.

It is hugely unlikely that significantly will come of the move – the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only exercising jurisdiction inside its member nations – and Russia is not one particular of them.

Even so it could impact the president in other techniques, such as becoming unable to travel internationally.

In a statement, the ICC stated it had affordable grounds to think Mr Putin committed the criminal acts straight, as properly as operating with other folks. It also accused him of failing to use his presidential powers to cease young children becoming deported.

When asked about the ICC’s move, US President Joe Biden stated “properly, I feel it really is justified”. He noted that the US is not signed up to the ICC, “but I feel it tends to make a extremely sturdy point”. Mr Putin “clearly committed war crimes”, he stated.

Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, is also wanted by the ICC for the identical crimes.

In the previous, she has spoken openly of efforts to indoctrinate Ukrainian young children taken to Russia.

Final September, Ms Lvova-Belova complained that some young children removed from the city of Mariupol “spoke badly about the [Russian President], stated awful factors and sang the Ukrainian anthem.”

She has also claimed to have adopted a 15-year-old boy from Mariupol.

The ICC stated it initially thought of maintaining the arrest warrants a secret, but decided to make them public in the occasion that it stopped additional crimes from becoming committed.

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told the BBC: “young children cannot be treated as the spoils of war, they cannot be deported”.

“This variety of crime does not require one particular to be a lawyer, one particular desires to be human becoming to know how egregious it is,” he stated.

Reactions to the warrants came inside minutes of the announcement, with Kremlin officials instantaneously dismissing them.

Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stated any of the court’s choices have been “null and void” and former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev compared the warrant to toilet paper.

“No require to clarify Exactly where this paper really should be utilised,” he wrote on Twitter, with a toilet paper emoji.

Even so Russian opposition leaders welcomed the announcement. Ivan Zhdanov, a close ally of jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, tweeted that it was “a symbolic step” but an critical one particular.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky stated he was grateful to Mr Khan and the criminal court for their selection to press charges against “state evil”.

Ukraine’s Prosecutor Basic Andriy Kostin stated the selection was “historic for Ukraine”, whilst the country’s presidential chief of employees, Andriy Yermak, lauded the selection as “only the starting”.

Video caption,

WATCH: Can Vladimir Putin essentially be arrested?

But mainly because Russia is not a signed member of the ICC, there is extremely small opportunity that Vladimir Putin or Maria Lvova-Belova will seem in the dock at The Hague.

The ICC relies on the cooperation of governments to arrest men and women, and Russia is “of course not going to cooperate in this respect”, Jonathan Leader Maynard, a lecturer in international politics at King’s College London, told the BBC.

Even so Mr Khan pointed out that no-one particular believed Slobodan Milosevic, the Serbian leader who went on trial for war crimes in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, would finish up in The Hague.

“These that really feel that you can commit a crime in the daytime, and sleep properly at evening, really should probably appear at history,” he stated.

Legally, even so, this does present Mr Putin with a issue.

There is also a level of embarrassment for the Kremlin, which has normally denied allegations of Russian war crimes, that such an influential, pan-national physique as the ICC basically does not think its denials.

By Editor