Worse than sanctions: what does Putin's arrest warrant mean and how does it fetter Russia


Worse than sanctions: what does Putin's arrest warrant mean and how does it fetter Russia

The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has issued a warrant for the arrest of Vladimir Putin. This decision was supported by Ukraine and its Western partners.

The decision of the court has both symbolic and practical significance. More details about how Putin and Russia found themselves in a difficult situation because of the warrant are analyzed by Channel 24 journalist Aleksey Pechiy.

Dangerous trip for Putin: who can be the first to detain the dictator

The ICC in The Hague officially announced on March 17 that it had issued an international arrest warrant for dictator Putin for committing an international war crime.

It should be explained that this is only one of a number of crimes, namely , the court accuses Putin of illegal deportation of the population , in particular, children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia.

The Office of the Prosecutor General of Ukraine recorded the deportation of more than 16,000 children from the occupied regions , but the real figure could be much higher. Now Putin is accused of deporting these children since February 24 last year.

Such a court decision in The Hague means that outside of Russia, Putin should be arrested and brought to trial. For example, in August the Russian dictator is due to attend the BRICS summit in South Africa . And there is an interesting story going on here.

After all, South Africa is among the 118 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC and therefore has a legal obligation to enforce the arrest warrant. That is, South Africa will be legally obliged to arrest and bring Putin to court if he nevertheless decides to visit the summit in August.

Why South Africa will be forced to extradite Putin

Of course, the possibility that South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will order his troops to handcuff Putin out is considered very remote. Indeed, South Africa has a certain history in this area, as it refused to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir , who was also issued an ICC warrant during his visit in 2015.

However, this behavior of South Africa will cast an even greater shadow on the country. Therefore, it is possible that Putin will simply be asked not to appear at the summit in person.

However, it is possible that Putin will face trial after his arrest in another country, perhaps even in Russia itself. Today, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Khan, said that Putin could stand trial at any time . And do not assume that this is something unlikely.

“No one should feel that they have freedom of action. No one should feel that they can act freely, and certainly no one should feel that they can act and commit genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes with impunity. Those who believe that it is impossible to hold Putin accountable, does not understand history.

Because the top Nazi war criminals, former Yugoslav President Milosevic, former Bosnian Serb politician Karadzic, former Liberian President Taylor, former Prime Minister Jean Kambanda of Rwanda, and so on, they were all powerful, influential people and yet they ended up in courtrooms. where their conduct was reviewed by independent judges. And it also gives reason to hope that the law, no matter how hard it is, can be supreme,” Khan said.

It is worth adding the fate of leaders such as Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi, who simply did not live to see the trial because he was killed by rebels in his own country.

The mood in the Kremlin has become gloomier: intelligence says that they are looking for a replacement for Putin

The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Defense Ministry has already stated that the mood in the Kremlin has become gloomier after the decision of the International Criminal Court to issue a warrant for the arrest of the Russian president. they are already looking for a successor to Putin .

Intelligence spokesman Andrei Yusov said that there was clearly a fright in the Kremlin , because even the propagandists were confused in their shows and did not know how to present this news to the Russian audience.

But more importantly, Putin's circle is shrinking , becoming increasingly toxic both to the outside world and inside the country. So, according to intelligence, there is growing dissatisfaction with what is happening in the Kremlin towers. We are talking about finding a successor to Putin, and it is no longer the dictator who is looking for him, but other people from his entourage.

However, this seems to be just the beginning. President of the International Criminal Court Piotr Hofmansky said Putin's arrest warrant sent a very important message to the world and to the victims of the scheme to forcibly deport thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.

But this is far from the end, because there is still a long and complicated process to investigate other crimes committed by Putin.

How does the ICC work in general and why is it a blow to Putin

Is it worth dwelling on the question of how the ICC works in general? First, it should be noted that the ICC in The Hague operates under the Rome Statute.

123 countries are parties to the treaty, but there are very large and notable exceptions, including Russia and the United States. And, for that matter, Ukraine has not ratified the Rome Statute either .

Consequently, anyone accused of a crime committed in the territory of the countries included in the Rome Statute falls under the jurisdiction of the ICC .

But a logical question arises, how is the court in The Hague going to try Putin if neither Ukraine nor Russia has ratified the Rome Statute? The fact is that although Ukraine is not a member of the court, our state previously recognized its jurisdiction.

Thus, the court can convict Putin for war crimes committed on the territory of Ukraine . The only caveat is that the ICC does not conduct trials in absentia , so until Putin is detained, there will be no actual verdict. And at first glance, such a detention of the Russian dictator looks unlikely.

But the very fact of considering this case is already hurting the reputation of both Putin himself and Russia as such . Of course, it should be understood that international justice can last for years. A striking example is the investigation into the downing of Boeing MH17 in 2014.

But a number of Western lawyers are already arguing that the international outcry against Russia is unique and could give the court an opportunity to act differently and, importantly, much faster.

In fact, the ICC has the support of the entire Western world, even if some of these countries have not ratified the Rome Charter. Consequently, each of these countries pours enough resources into the court to speed up the process.

In general, even the very fact of announcing a warrant for Putin's arrest in less than a year is already a precedent. In other conditions, we could expect such a decision for several more years.

While Putin is at large, sanctions will not be lifted from Russia: how the world reacts to the order

The court's support for the investigation of crimes in Ukraine is truly unprecedented. Today, for example, British Attorney General Dominic Raab frankly stated that his country would assist the International Criminal Court in The Hague with a forensic medical examination and investigation of the charges against the Russian dictator.

In addition, the representative of Britain to the UN has already spoken at the UN Security Council and called on other countries to also join the investigation, because the Russian army guilty of war crimes in Ukraine should be fairly punished. He assured that London welcomes the decision of the Court in The Hague on a warrant for the arrest of Putin.

Also in support of the investigation was German Chancellor Olaf Scholz . He stated that no one in the world is above the law, and this is something that is becoming clear right now, using the example of dictator Putin.

At the same time, US President Joe Biden considers the decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for Putin absolutely justified. Biden said that although the ICC is not recognized by the States, the warrant is a very strong argument, because Putin obviously committed war crimes.

Therefore, it is possible that the United States will also help in some way in expediting the investigation. Especially as the US State Department added today that the United States has no doubt that Russia and its armed forces are committing war crimes in Ukraine, so the decisions of the independent court are welcome.

And even if one is skeptical about the likelihood of a quick arrest of Putin, there is another important element in this case of a warrant for the arrest of a dictator, which was announced today by the former head of the Office of Global Criminal Justice at the US State Department, Stephen Rapp.

According to him, Russia will not be able to get out of sanctions if the warrant for the arrest of dictator Putin is not executed . That is, apart from the fact that Putin himself is becoming an even greater pariah, Russia, in general, can not count on the lifting of the sanctions imposed on it if Putin remains at large.

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