Biden says ICC arrest warrant for Putin ‘justified’
President Biden said on Friday he believed the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin was “justified” and that he had “clearly committed war crimes” in Ukraine.
The president, however, noted that the United States and several other countries do not recognize the authority of the ICC.
“I think it’s justified, but the question is that we don’t recognize it internationally either,” Biden, 80, told reporters before leaving the White House for a weekend in Delaware.
“But I think it makes a very strong point,” he added.
When asked if he thought Putin should be tried for war crimes related to his bloody invasion of Ukraine, the president did not respond directly, but said it was clear the Russian leader had committed war crimes.
“He clearly committed war crimes,” Biden told reporters.
The Hague on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Putin on suspicion of unlawful abduction and deportation of children and illegal transfer of people from Ukraine to Russia, in the first ICC warrant related to the Kremlin war in Ukraine.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the above crimes,” the Netherlands-based court said.
The warrant was issued following a year-long investigation by ICC prosecutor Karim Khan into war crimes and genocide committed by Russian forces in the former Soviet state.
The Hague has also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russian commissioner for children’s rights, for the same crimes Putin is accused of.
However, the ICC does not have its own police force capable of making arrests.
Russia and Ukraine are also not members of the ICC, which has 123 members.
The Kremlin slammed the warrants on Friday and said it would not cooperate with the ICC.
“We consider the mere fact of asking the question to be outrageous and unacceptable. Russia, like a number of states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and therefore any such decision is null and void for the Russian Federation from a legal point of view,” he tweeted on Friday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Vice President Kamala Harris told the Munich Security Conference last month that the United States had determined that Russia had committed crimes against humanity in Ukraine.
“Their actions are an attack on our shared values, an attack on our shared humanity,” Harris said, citing evidence of execution-style murders, rapes and torture. “The United States has officially determined that Russia committed crimes against humanity.”
New York Post