Joe Biden said Vladimir Putin “clearly committed a war crime” after the Russian leader was arrested by the International Criminal Court (ICC).
this America president It also described the ICC’s decision to issue the warrant as “reasonable”.
It comes after the Hague-based intergovernmental organization was charged mr putin Or responsible for the abduction of Ukrainian children.
An arrest warrant was also issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, RussiaChildren’s Commissioner, similar allegations of war crimes.
The warrants mean that if any party steps foot in one of the ICC’s 123 member states, then authorities in those countries will be obliged to arrest them and hand them over to The Hague.
The Kremlin said Russia, which does not recognize the ICC, found the questions raised by the court “outrageous and unacceptable”.
But Mr Biden said at a news conference on Friday: “He [Putin] Clearly committed a war crime.
“I think it makes sense [the warrant]. But the problem is – it is not recognized by us internationally either. But I think it’s a very important point. “
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Although both Russia and the United States had signed the Rome Statute – the treaty that established the International Criminal Court – the United States never ratified the agreement, while Russia withdrew after court criticism of its 2014 annexation of Crimea.
In addition to the ICC warrant, the United States has separately concluded that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine.
“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in) Ukraine, and we have made it clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” a State Department spokesman said.
Russia said the ICC’s arrest warrant was “invalid” because it did not recognize the court.
Meanwhile, Ms Lvova-Belova said her arrest warrant confirmed her work “to help the children of our country”.
The charges come as Russia prepares to celebrate the ninth anniversary of its 2014 annexation of Crimea, an event Putin is expected to mark this weekend with a “patriotic” rally at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium.
What are the charges?
In a statement, the court said president of russia is “responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of [children] and the illegal transfer of people [children] from the occupied territories or Ukraine The Russian Federation”.
The ICC said its pre-trial chamber found there were “reasonable grounds to believe” that the two suspects were responsible for alleged war crimes and that Mr Putin was “personally criminally responsible”.
Russia has brought thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia, but described the plan as a humanitarian campaign aimed at protecting abandoned and orphaned children in conflict zones.
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However, Sky News’ international affairs editor Dominic Waghorn said the chances of Putin being tried were slim.
Assessing the warrant, Waghorn said there was a “long line of people” who were indicted but never spent a day in court.
“Unless the war goes against him — he’s overthrown and handed over — it’s unlikely he will face trial,” Waghorn said.
How many children were taken from Ukraine?
The exact number of children taken from Ukraine is unknown, with different organizations providing different estimates.
“A respected human rights group in the U.S. estimates that 6,000 children have been deported to Russia, Ukrainians estimate about 16,000, and the Russians themselves say 700,000 since 2014,” Waghorn said. Children are being taken from Ukraine.”
Ukraine is working closely with the International Criminal Court and is currently investigating more than 16,000 cases of forced deportation of children to Russia, said Andrey Yermak, Ukraine’s chief of staff.
Arrest warrant makes diplomatic solution more problematic
Sky News was the first to reveal video evidence of Russian soldiers searching for children at a shelter in Ukraine.
In December, we aired gruesome CCTV footage from an orphanage in Kherson in which 15 children were held at gunpoint by the Russian military and claimed that much younger children at a nearby orphanage suffered met the same fate.
An independent study claimed that 6,000 children had been taken by the Russians, and Ukrainians said the true figure was more than double that.
During this war, there were constant reports of children being abducted, abducted or simply persuaded to go with the Russians and never return.
We’ve seen children resurface at events in Russia, some hosted by President Putin himself, marched by Russians who claim to have saved them from war and by the Ukrainian government that Moscow claims is run by the Nazis.
The charges are now the substance of an ICC arrest warrant, which was sent to the highest levels of the Russian government along with President Putin’s children’s rights commissioner, Maria Livova-Belova.
She was seen crying on Russian state television, and she spoke with joy of adopting the Ukrainian orphans she claims to have saved.
She has been bragging about what happened to Ukrainian children without shame. She claims to believe she is saving them.
Outside of Russia, she is seen to be running a system in which Ukrainian children are effectively trafficked into Russia.
Development is significant. Hopes for a negotiated diplomatic solution to the conflict have become more problematic.
It also put pressure on countries ambivalent about Russia’s aggression, which abstained from a U.N. vote to condemn it and complicit in Moscow’s efforts to avoid sanctions.
To date, Ukraine has managed to secure the return of 308 children.
ICC investigates war crimes
At a news conference, ICC President Piotr Hofmanski said the arrest warrant was “an important moment in the judicial process.”
He also said the judge hearing the case “determined that there were credible allegations” of the crimes alleged by these individuals.
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ICC prosecutor Karim Khan began investigating possible war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine a year ago.
In previous visits, Mr Khan stressed that he was also examining attacks on civilian infrastructure and alleged crimes against children, who enjoy special protection under the Geneva Conventions.
Ukraine is not a member of the court but has granted the ICC jurisdiction over its territory.
Ukrainian and international response
In his nightly address to the nation, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it a “historic decision from which historic responsibilities will begin.”
“The head of a terrorist state and another Russian official have officially become war crime suspects,” he said.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly welcomed the ICC warrant, which he said would “hold accountable the highest levels of the Russian regime, including Vladimir Putin”.
“Work must continue to investigate the atrocities committed,” he tweeted.
White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said: “There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have made it clear that those responsible must be held accountable.”
EU foreign affairs and security policy representative Josep Borrell said the warrants were “only the beginning of holding Russia accountable for crimes and atrocities in Ukraine”.