US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Russian President Vladimir Putin should face arrest if he steps into a country that complies with the warrants issued by the International Criminal Court. Blinken made the remarks during a Senate hearing. ICC prosecutors had earlier issued an indictment against Putin for the “unlawful deportation of” Ukrainian children into Russia. Blinken refused to engage in a hypothetical regarding Putin’s travel plans but reminded Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) that the United States is not a signatory to the ICC treaty.
The ICC has the support of 123 countries, including 33 countries in Africa. ICC documents highlight that the powers to execute the court’s arrest warrants lie with States. States Parties have an obligation to cooperate fully with the ICC and to ensure that there are procedures available under their national law to execute all cooperation requests from the Court under the Rome Statute. Russia has not signed the Rome Statute, but Ukraine has accepted the ICC twice.
Putin’s associates had expressed outrage at the indictment, leading Russian officials to open their own criminal case against the ICC officials involved in issuing the warrant.
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