On Monday, the Russian justice opened a case against an International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor and three judges who issued an arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin and his commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova.
Russia Does Not Recognize ICC Jurisdiction - Kremlin
On March 17, the ICC accused Putin and Lvova-Belova of illegally transferring children from Ukrainian conflict areas to Russia, calling this policy a “war crime.” This decision obliges the ICC 123 member states to arrest them and transfer them to The Hague for trial if they enter their territory.
“There are no grounds for criminal liability on Putin's part since heads of state enjoyed absolute immunity under the 1973 United Nations convention,” the Russian Investigative Committee stated, adding that ICC committed crimes under Russian law.
“These crimes include knowingly accusing an innocent person of a crime and preparing an attack on a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection to complicate international relations,” the Committee stressed.
The Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov stressed that the arrest warrant against Putin and Lvova-Belova is scandalous and unacceptable, recalling that Russia is not a signatory to the treaty that created the ICC.
“This court's move was a sign of the 'clear hostility' existing against Russia and Putin. The ICC officials targeted in the Russian investigation are prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan (U.K.) and judges Tomoko Akane (Japan), Rosario Aitala (Italy), and Sergio Ugalde (Costa Rica).
Founded in 2002, the ICC has faced criticism for assuming Eurocentrist and racist positions. “The ICC is acting as a neo-colonial force seeking to empower Western politics,” the African Union (AU) condemned, encouraging African states not to recognize the ICC's legitimacy.