Kremlin Declares ICC Warrant ‘Null and Void’

The International Criminal Court has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, the court said in a statement on Friday.

MOSCOW, March 17. /TASS/. Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and considers its decisions null and void, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Friday, commenting on the body’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We consider the very formulation of the issue outrageous and unacceptable. Russia, as well as several other states, do not recognize the jurisdiction of this court and, accordingly, any decisions of this kind are null and void for Russia in terms of law,” the Kremlin spokesman said.

“That is, in fact, the only thing I would and could tell you about this decision,” he added.

Peskov did not comment on a question about whether the court’s decision would affect Putin’s visits to countries that recognized the jurisdiction of the ICC: “I have nothing to add on this topic.”

Earlier on Friday, it became known that the International Criminal Court had issued arrest warrants for Putin and Russian children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova.

Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova on Friday said her arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court shows other ways to intimidate Russia have been exhausted.

“All this is very weird, and I think it’s a vivid example that when you run out of ways to intimidate a country, you start inventing some fanciful stuff like this,” he said on Rossiya-24 television. “Like little kids, when they have nothing better to do, they shake their fist from some place far off.”

The International Criminal Court was created by the 1998 Rome Statute. It is not part of the UN and is accountable to the countries that have ratified the document. Non-signatories include Russia (signed but not ratified), the United States (signed but later withdrew its signature), and China (did not sign the statute). In 2016, Putin signed an order stating that Russia would not become a party to the ICC. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, the court “has failed to live up to the expectations placed on it and has not become a truly independent body of international justice.”

The ICC Has No Jurisdiction in Russia

The International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday alleged that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova may have committed war crimes by “deporting” and “transferring” children from Ukraine. Moscow has dismissed the move as preposterous and not legally binding, since Russia never ratified the court’s jurisdiction.