US President Joe Biden has welcomed the arrest warrant which has been issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for Russian leader Vladmimr Putin. The warrant was announced by the council earlier this week.
Mr Biden has said that the arrest warrant is “justified” because the Russian President has “clearly committed war crimes”. The warrant has been issued to the President following his invasion of Ukraine which has led to a war that has raged for over a year.
The ICC alleges he is responsible for war crimes, including the unlawful deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia. Despite the warrant, the ICC has no powers to arrest suspects, and can only exercise jurisdiction within countries who are signed up to the agreement that set up the court.
The warrant means that if Mr Putin was to step in any of the ICC’s 123 member states he would be arrested. The Kremlin, which doesn’t recognise the ICC, has responded to the warrant.
They have described the warrant as “outrageous and unacceptable.” An arrest warrant has also been issued for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children, on similar allegations of war crimes.
Mr Biden was talking at a news conference on Friday (March 17). His comments about the warrant also covered the fact the USA also does not recognise the ICC.
He added: "I think it’s justified [the warrant]. But the question is - it’s not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”
International Criminal Court member states
There are 123 ‘States Parties’ or member states to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court. Of these countries, 33 are African States, 19 are Asia-Pacific States, 18 are from Eastern Europe, 28 are from Latin American and Caribbean States, and 25 are from Western European and other States.
Afghanistan, Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria
Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso
Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Canada, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic
Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic
Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia,
Fiji, Finland, France
Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guyana
Iceland, Ireland, Italy
Latvia, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg
Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Montenegro
Namibia, Nauru, Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Norway
Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal
Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania
Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, State of Palestine, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland
Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia
Uganda, United Kingdom, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay