Biden expresses support for Putin arrest warrant: ‘Clearly committed war crimes’
Biden expresses support for Putin arrest warrant: ‘Clearly committed war crimes’Cami Mondeaux
March 18, 10:25 AM March 18, 10:25 AM
President Joe Biden expressed support for the International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling the move “justified.”
“I think it makes a very strong point,” Biden told reporters on Friday. “[Putin] has clearly committed war crimes.”
INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR PUTIN
The ICC announced the warrant on Friday, citing “reasonable grounds” to arrest the Russian president for his actions related to the war in Ukraine. Specifically, the court accused Putin of being “allegedly responsible 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.”
Biden’s support of the move is largely symbolic, as the United States is not a member of the ICC, nor does it recognize the group internationally. However, Biden expressed support for further investigations into Putin’s alleged war crimes.
The ICC also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, whom they said also shared responsibility for his alleged crimes. ICC President Judge Piotr Hofmanski said in a video statement that the judges involved in the case decided to publicize the warrants “in the interest of justice and to prevent the commission of future crimes.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky praised the ICC for its “historic” decision, but the move prompted criticism from Russian officials who called the move “outrageous and unacceptable.”
The arrest warrant comes just one day after the United Nations concluded that Russia’s forced deportation of children amounts to a “war crime.”
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The number of children deported remains unclear to international investigators, though Ukrainian officials have said they have identified more than 16,000 specific children who were deported to Russia. U.N. investigators note that both governments at various times “have declared that hundreds of thousands of children have been transferred from Ukraine to the Russian Federation” since the beginning of the war more than a year ago.
Defense reporter Mike Brest contributed to this report.