Ukraine-Russia war: Russia ‘will bomb any country that arrests Putin’

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Russia would bomb any country that detains Vladimir Putin using the International Criminal Court arrest warrant, Russia’s ex-president Dmitry Medvedev has warned.

The ICC last week called Putin a war criminal over his alleged role in abducting thousands of Ukrainian children, often from orphanages or care homes. 

But Mr Medvedev cautioned that any attempt to execute that arrest warrant would be seen by Moscow as a “declaration of war”.

“Let’s imagine – it’s clear that this is a situation that will never happen – but nevertheless let’s imagine it does,” the Putin ally said.

“The current head of a nuclear state arrives on the territory of, say, Germany, and is arrested. What is this? A declaration of war against the Russian Federation.”

Mr Medvedev said that if this happened “all of our means, rockets and others, will fly on the Bundestag, in the Chancellor’s Office and so on.”

Mr Putin could face arrest in more than 100 countries that recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC warrant. 

Russia, like the US, is not one of the 123 countries that are parties to the ICC under the Rome Statute, which established the court. 

A future trial of Putin is therefore highly improbable, but the warrant is expected to have an impact on his ability to travel because he could be arrested and sent to The Hague.