- US President Joe Biden said an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin was “justified.”
- The warrant was issued by the International Criminal Court, which the US and Russia don’t recognize.
- Neither nation has signed onto the Rome Statute, limiting the Hague’s jurisdiction over the countries.
US President Joe Biden commended the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an international arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin on Friday.
On Friday, the ICC released a report accusing the Russian president of “war crimes,” declaring him an international pariah by issuing an arrest warrant against him. The news was roundly welcomed globally, even by countries that don’t recognize the court — including the US.
“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, according to CNN.
In the ICC’s report, officials said Putin was “allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
The report largely revolved around allegations the UN has also put forth, claiming that Russia committed war crimes by forcefully deporting and transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.
Russia does not recognize the ICC, and the US’s relationship with the court has been fraught, according to Human Rights Watch. Ukraine does not fully recognize the court, although it allows The Hague to investigate alleged crimes against humanity committed in its territory.
Several US administrations have rejected to sign the Rome Statute which binds nations to the ICC’s jurisdiction, meaning that most US nationals accused of war crimes in places like Afghanistan can’t be prosecuted by the court, although the US cooperates with the court in limited capacities, according to HRW.
In response to the ICC’s declaration on Friday, a State Department spokesperson told Insider “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.”
“The ICC Prosecutor is an independent actor and makes his own prosecutorial decisions based on the evidence before him. We support accountability for perpetrators of war crimes,” the spokesperson added.
Ukrainian officials praised the decision. The Kremlin called the decision “outrageous,” and “legally void,” the Associated Press reported.