"Legal bacchanalia and schizophrenia": Russia on US response to arrest warrant for Putin

18 mar 2023 8:21 p.m

The US does not recognize the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague and imposes sanctions on its judges if their decisions do not suit Washington. Nevertheless, US President Joe Biden welcomes the arrest warrant for his Russian colleague.

Washington’s response to the International Criminal Court’s “arrest warrant” against Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be schizophrenic, according to Moscow’s diplomatic mission in the US. The embassy added that while the US does not cooperate with the court in cases involving Americans, it was quick to welcome the recent ruling regarding Russia.

In a post published on Telegram on Friday, the Russian embassy said the US stance was reminiscent of “sluggish schizophrenia”. The post highlighted that while US officials commended the ICC’s decision to indict Putin and Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, they stressed that the US is not bound by the court.

“For the sake of its own geopolitical interests, Washington supports the unprecedented legal bacchanalia unleashed by the ICC, knowing full well that Russia, like the United States, does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC,” the embassy said.

She added that the ICC’s attempt to investigate alleged US war crimes in Afghanistan in 2020 had led to the US imposing sanctions on then-prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

Speaking to reporters on Friday, US President Joe Biden said he thought the ICC’s decision against his Russian counterpart was “justified” because Putin “clearly committed war crimes.” However, he hastened to add that the court “is not internationally recognized by us either”.

The US withdrew from the ICC in 2002 and passed legislation authorizing it to use “all necessary and reasonable means” – including military force – to release any American or national of an allied country if they are detained by the court .

Regarding the ICC’s latest move and the allegation that Putin and Lvova-Belova were responsible for the “unlawful transfer” of children from Ukraine to Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Friday that “Russia, like many other states, has jurisdiction not recognized by this court”.

Peskov called the arrest warrants “outrageous and unacceptable” and dismissed them as “null and void from a legal standpoint.”

In addition to the US and Russia, a number of other states do not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC, including China, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

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On February 24, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he would launch a special military operation in Ukraine together with the armed forces of the Donbass republics to protect the population there. The goals are to demilitarize and denazify Ukraine. Ukraine speaks of a war of aggression. On the same day, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy declared a state of war across the country.

The West condemned the attack, reacted with new deliveries of weapons, promised help with reconstruction and imposed sanctions on Russia.

Scores of soldiers and civilians have been killed on both sides of the conflict. Moscow and Kiev have accused each other of various war crimes. Thousands of Ukrainians have now fled their homeland.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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