The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an arrest warrant, Friday, for Russian President Vladimir Putin over alleged war crimes in Ukraine.
According to AL Jazeera, the Hague-based court said in a statement that the warrant was issued over Putin’s suspected engagement in the illegal extradition and transfer of children from occupied areas of Ukraine to Russia.
Meanwhile, Moscow has dismissed the warrant as meaningless from a legal perspective.
“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility,” ICC said.
Speaking on the child abductions, it added, “for having committed the acts directly, jointly with others and/or through others (and) for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts.”
The ICC, which has no powers to enforce its own warrants, also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the office of the Russian president, on similar allegations.
Russia, which refutes committing atrocities since it invaded Ukraine in February last year, rejected the ICC’s move as null and void.
“The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view,” Russian foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel after the announcement.
“Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it.”
But ICC President Piotr Hofmanski told Al Jazeera it was “completely irrelevant” that Russia had not ratified the Rome Statute.