World

Putin arrest warrant issued over war crime allegations

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

The court alleges he is responsible for war crimes, including the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

It says the crimes were committed in Ukraine at least from 24 February 2022 – when Russia launched its full-scale invasion.

Moscow has denied allegations of war crimes during the invasion.

The ICC has charged Mr Putin with being involved in the deportation of children, and says it has reasonable grounds to believe he committed the acts directly, as well as working with others.

The court also said the Russian leader failed to exercise his rights to stop others who deported children.

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

A Russian foreign ministry spokesperson said the arrest warrants are meaningless.

“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Maria Zakharova wrote on Telegram.

That is because despite the warrants, the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only exercise jurisdiction within countries who are signed up to the agreement that set up the court.

Russia is not a signatory to that agreement – so it is unlikely either will be extradited.

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