Britain welcomes arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin


Russia has welcomed the International Criminal Court’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine.

Secretary of State James Cleverly said it was vital that regime leaders in Moscow be held accountable for the atrocities that have taken place since the invasion a year ago.

The Hague-based ICC said it was issuing the arrest warrant for the Russian leader over the alleged kidnapping and deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The charges were promptly dismissed as “legally void” by the Kremlin – which does not recognize the ICC.

However, Mr Cleverly said in a statement released on social media: “Those responsible for horrific war crimes in Ukraine must be brought to justice.

“We welcome the move by the independent ICC to hold the leadership of the Russian regime, including Vladimir Putin, accountable.

“Work must continue to investigate the atrocities committed.”

Union leader Sir Keir Starmer, a former head of the public prosecutor’s office, also backed the move.

“Today’s announcement sends an important message: there will be no hiding place for Putin and his cronies, and the world is determined to make them pay for what they did,” he said.

“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. One day Putin will be brought to justice: until then, the focus of all who believe in Ukraine’s freedom must remain on ensuring their victory.”

While there is no immediate prospect of Mr Putin’s arrest, legal experts have pointed to the examples of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and Liberian President Charles Taylor as international leaders who ended up in the dock at The Hague.

Dominic Raab, Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister, told the BBC: “I suspect it will be a long journey, but people said it was about Yugoslavia and Rwanda and many of those responsible for the slaughter ended up in the dock of a court .

“In the short term it will be very difficult for President Putin to move around the world because there are so many countries that are parties to the ICC that will be obliged to arrest him.” Britain welcomes arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin

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