Biden says Putin has ‘clearly committed war crimes’ and ICC charges are justified
US president Joe Biden said on Friday his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin “clearly committed” war crimes during the course of Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine since the conflict erupted in the former Soviet nation in February last year.
“He’s clearly committed war crimes,” the US president said on Friday referring to the Russian leader.
Speaking on the arrest warrant for Mr Putin issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Friday, Mr Biden said: “Well, I think it’s justified. But the question is – it is not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”
The US is not a member country of the global court.
The international court accused Mr Putin of war crimes by taking hundreds of Ukrainian children from the war-torn nation’s orphanages.
Russian president and his children’s rights commissioner Maria Alekseyevna Lvoya-Belova have carried out “unlawful deportation” of children “from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.
The first such arrest warrant against the Russian leader allows the court’s 123 member states to detain Mr Putin over for trial if he sets foot on their territory, making several nation states a dangerous territory for the Kremlin’s president.
Moscow has squarely rejected the arrest warrant on Friday.
Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said that Russia doesn’t recognise the ICC and regards its decisions “legally void”.
The international court’s move to issue an arrest warrant for Mr Putin over war crimes is “outrageous and unacceptable”.
Mr Peskov refused to comment when asked if the Russian president would avoid making trips to countries where he could be arrested on the ICC’s warrant.
In a separate conclusion, the US has accused Russian forces of committing war crimes in Ukraine and said it backs accountability for perpetrators of war crimes.
“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in) Ukraine, and we have been clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” a state department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.
“This was a decision the ICC prosecutor reached independently based on the facts before him.”
According to a US-backed report by Yale University, Russia has captured at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in at least 43 camps and other facilities as part of a “large-scale systematic network”.
Separately, Ukraine’s prosecutor general Andriy Kostin has said that his office has recorded more than 70,000 potential war crime cases so far in the last 13 months.