Hague: The International Criminal Court (ICC) has reportedly issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian official Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova for an alleged scheme to deport Ukrainian children to Russia.
According to a CNN report quoted by ANI, the Hague-based ICC accused the Russian president of responsibility for war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine during the war that has been ongoing for over a year.
Reacting to the warrant, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said that the ICC warrant for Putin is ‘just the beginning’.
ICC in a statement on Friday added that Putin “is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”
It also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the president of the Russian Federation on similar allegations.
According to an AL Jazeera report, the warrants came a day after a United Nations-backed inquiry accused Russia of committing wide-ranging war crimes in Ukraine, including the forced deportation of children in areas it controls.
The UN genocide convention defines “forcibly transferring children of the group to another group” as one of five acts that can be prosecuted as genocide.
However, the successful extradition of President Putin could prove a far greater challenge as Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the international criminal court in The Hague, reported DW News.
Russia denies deliberately harming civilians but its defence ministry has claimed to have targeted Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
(With Agency Inputs)
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