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Moscow Lambasts ICC 'Warrant of Arrest' Against President Putin as Null and Void

© AFP 2023 / Martijn BeekmanThis file photo taken on November 23, 2015 shows the building of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands
This file photo taken on November 23, 2015 shows the building of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, The Netherlands - Sputnik International, 1920, 17.03.2023
Earlier in the day Friday, the International Criminal Court issued "warrants of arrest" against two senior Russian officials, including President Putin, over the purported "unlawful transfer" of Ukrainian children from the conflict zone over the past year.
The arrest warrants issued by the The Hague against Russia's president and children's rights commissioner are null and void and carry no legal weight, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has announced.

"The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no significance for our country, including from a legal point of view," Zakharova wrote in a Telegram post Friday. "Russia is not a party to the ICC's Rome Statute and bears no obligations under it. Russia is not engaged in cooperation with this body, and any possible [orders] for arrests coming from the court will be legally null and void for us," she added.

Andrey Klishas, chairman of the Russian Federation Council's Committee on Constitutional Legislation and State Construction, echoed Zakharova's sentiments, saying the ICC's warrants have "no legal basis or effect" in Russia, and urging Russia to "immediately issue an arrest warrant against all ICC 'judges'."
"Today the jurisdiction of the ICC is unrecognized not only by Russia, but also by a number of members of the UN Security Council. Having made such an absurd decision, the ICC has embarked on the path of self-destruction," Klishas said.
"We do not recognize this court, we do not recognize the jurisdiction of this court. This is how we treat this," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters earlier this week when asked by reporters about the ICC's imminent criminal cases.
The ICC issued "warrants of arrest" against Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the presidential commissioner for children's rights, over their alleged responsibility "for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation" from "at least" February 2022 on.
ICC prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan said Friday evening that the court would continue to seek cooperation with Russia on the situation in Ukraine notwithstanding the arrest warrants against Putin and Lvova-Belova.
Western officials and media and officials in Kiev have spent months claiming that Russia has been "stealing" Ukrainian children by relocating them from the conflict zone's front lines to areas further from the fighting, including Crimea.
Russian officials have made no secret of Moscow's efforts to relocate civilians from front line areas, where they are threatened with regular shelling attacks by Ukrainian forces. "We do our best to keep young citizens in families, and in cases of the absence or death of parents and relatives, to transfer orphans to guardianship. We are ensuring the protection of their lives and well-being," the Russian Embassy in the US said last month. The embassy added that amid the "politicized insinuations" being against Russia, Washington and its allies have ignored the death and injury of well over 400 children in the Donbass, including at the hands of HIMARS rockets and other Western-provided weapons targeting schools, kindergartens and hospitals, over the past year.
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