RIGA - The arrest warrant of Russian President Vladimir Putin issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) is a strong signal for the further strengthening of international law, Latvian President Egils Levits stated today at a joint press conference with the President of Malta George Vella.
The Latvian politician pointed out that this is an important decision, because there have been only a few arrest warrants issued for the sitting leader of a country. According to the president, this is an extremely important step that shows that the international community values international law.
"Such actions of Russia - attacking a sovereign state - cannot be tolerated. The ICC investigates war crimes, including the deportation of children, for which this warrant has also been issued, however, it is necessary to create a special tribunal to punish crimes of aggression, over which ICC has no jurisdiction," Levits said, adding that the warrant issued by the ICC will strengthen the movement to establish an ad hoc international tribunal.
The AFP news agency reports that the International Criminal Court last week announced an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on the war crime accusation of unlawfully deporting Ukrainian children.
The Hague-based ICC said it had also issued a warrant against Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's presidential commissioner for children's rights, on similar charges.
More than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the February 24, 2022 invasion, according to Kyiv, with many allegedly placed in institutions and foster homes.
ICC prosecutor Karim Khan told AFP that Putin was now liable for arrest if he set foot in any of the court's more than 120 member states.