Biden: International Criminal Court issues arrest warrant for Putin

President Biden said on Friday the International Criminal Court (ICC) had “fair authority” to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on war crimes allegations.

“Well, I think it’s warranted,” Biden told reporters before leaving the White House for Delaware. “But the question is that we don’t recognize it internationally either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

When asked whether Putin should be tried for war crimes, Biden didn’t answer directly, but said the Russian leader “clearly committed war crimes.”

The ICC earlier on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Putin and another Russian official. The arrest warrant is believed to be one of the first charges against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine, part of a global effort to hold the Russian president and the Russian Federation accountable for atrocities beginning with the all-out invasion in February 2022.

The arrest warrant targets Putin on alleged war crimes charges and names him and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for the forced deportation of Ukrainian children from Russian-occupied territory to Russia.

The Kremlin denied the allegations and stated that it was not cooperating with the ICC.

“We consider the mere questioning to be outrageous and unacceptable. Russia, like a number of states, does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court, and accordingly all decisions of this nature are null and void for the Russian Federation from a legal point of view,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tweeted on Friday.

The United States is no longer a party to the International Criminal Court and does not recognize its authority.

Vice President Harris told an international security conference last month that the US had officially found Russia to have committed crimes against humanity, arguing that Russian soldiers had carried out widespread attacks on Ukrainian civilians, including murder, torture and rape.

Putin is expected to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week. US officials have warned that China may consider assisting Russia in its war effort in Ukraine.

When asked about his expectations for the Xi-Putin meeting, Biden said, “We’ll see when that meeting happens.”

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