(PresidentialWire.com)- On Friday, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague issued arrest warrants for war crimes to Russian President Vladimir Putin and another Kremlin official, the Associated Press reported.
President Putin becomes the third serving president facing an arrest warrant from the ICC, joining Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi, Reuters reported.
Putin is accused of unlawfully transferring Ukrainian children out of Russian-occupied territory to the Russian Federation, which is a war crime.
A second warrant was issued for Maria Lvova-Belova, Putin’s commissioner for Children’s Rights. In October, the Associated Press reported that Lvova-Belova was involved in abducting Ukrainian orphans in Russian-occupied areas and taking them to Russia.
When informed of the warrant, a sarcastic Lvova-Belova sarcastically said it was great that the international community appreciated what Russia does to “help the children of our country” by refusing to leave them in war zones but taking them to Russia and “surrounding them with loving, caring people,” the Associated Press reported.
Neither Russia nor Ukraine is a member state of the International Criminal Court, however, Ukraine did grant the court jurisdiction to prosecute crimes committed within its territory, according to Reuters.
The international tribunal does not have arrest powers. Instead, it must rely on the 123 member countries to make arrests. However, the subject of a warrant can only be arrested if he enters a member country.
The International Criminal Court’s decision was dismissed by Moscow.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the issues raised by the ICC were “outrageous and unacceptable.” Peskov reiterated that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC and considers its decision “legally void.”
According to Dmytro Lubinets, Ukraine’s human rights chief, based on data from Ukraine’s National Information Bureau, more than 16,000 children were deported to Russia. Of those, Ukraine has only recovered 308, according to the Associated Press.