Washington: The decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin was legitimate, according to U.S. President Joseph Biden on Friday.
Earlier on Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) demanded that Putin be detained on suspicion of illegally deporting children and illegally transferring citizens from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow’s invasion of its neighbour last year. The ICC does not have the United States as a member.
“Well, I think it’s justified. But the question is – it’s not recognized internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point,” Biden said.
A representative for the State Department stated in an email that the United States has independently determined that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine and supports holding war crime offenders accountable.
“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in) Ukraine, and we have been clear that those responsible must be held accountable. This was a decision the ICC prosecutor reached independently based on the facts before him,” said the spokesperson.
The ICC decision requires all 123 of the court’s members to detain Putin and extradite him to The Hague for prosecution if he steps foot on their soil. For the same charges, the ICC also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children’s rights, on Friday.
Researchers from Yale University reported last month that as part of a “large-scale systematic network,” Russia has detained at least 6,000 Ukrainian minors in at least 43 camps and other institutions.
Russian forces were accused of committing crimes during their invasion, although Russia has refuted these claims. The ICC’s arrest order for Putin, according to the Kremlin, is absurd but has no bearing on Russia.