The United States stressed this Friday that “there is no doubt” that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine and, after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin, supported holding those responsible “to account.”
“The ICC prosecutor is an independent actor and makes his own decisions based on the evidence before him. We support accountability for perpetrators of war crimes”Adrienne Watson, spokeswoman for the White House National Security Council, said in a statement.
The United States has not ratified the Rome Statute that established the ICC and has traditionally opposed various agency investigations.
“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine and we have made it clear that those responsible for that must be held accountable,” added the spokeswoman for the National Security Council.
The prosecutor of the ICCKarim Khan, identified in his petition for Putin’s arrest the deportation to Russia of “at least hundreds of children taken from orphanages and child care homes” ukrainians.
The preliminaries room of the ICC It also issued a second arrest warrant against the Russian politician Maria Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, with the same accusation.
Those arrest warrants are the first of their kind that the ICC has issued in the context of its investigation of war crimes in Ukraine.
The Russian government described the arrest warrant as “outrageous”, “inadmissible” and “legally null”, since Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the ICC.
The United States will continue to “work with Ukraine to document and preserve evidence” of war crimesanother White House spokesman, John Kirby, added in an interview with CNN.
The official avoided advancing if, if necessary, Washington would arrest and hand over the Russian president if he went to the United States or if he would mediate to pressure other countries to do so, alleging that it is their sovereign decision.
“I’m not going to speculate. Obviously we want to hold any perpetrator to account. I’m not going to go into hypothetical situations,” he said.
Kirby did point out that Russia is weaker now than at the start of the Ukrainian invasion on February 24 last year, “at least on a military level”: “It has lost thousands and thousands of soldiers and continues to lose them every day. It has not succeeded in none of its strategic objectives”.
Washington also wanted to specify that its consideration that Russia is committing war crimes in Ukraine is independent from that of the ICC.
“The determinations of the United States with respect to the war crimes and the atrocities in Ukraine are independent of the decisions of the ICC about the issues that come before you. The prosecutor’s evidence will ultimately be considered by the Court,” a State Department spokesman said.
The prosecutor of the ICC He explained on CNN that the message his agency sends is that “no one is above the law” and that “the basic principles of humanity are binding on everyone”: “No one should feel that they can commit genocide or war crimes and crimes against humanity with impunity”Khan concluded.
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