US President Joe Biden has joined Britain in welcoming the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine.
Biden said Putin “clearly committed war crimes” and that the order, while not recognized in the US, was “justified” and had an “extreme case.”
His comments came after British Foreign Secretary James Cleverley said it was crucial for regime leaders in Moscow to be held accountable for atrocities committed since the invasion a year ago.
The Hague-based ICC said it had issued arrest warrants for the Russian leader over the alleged kidnapping and deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia.
The Kremlin dismissed the charges as “illegitimate” – which does not recognize the International Criminal Court.
However, Mr. Cleverley said on social media: “Those responsible for the egregious war crimes in Ukraine must be brought to justice.
“We welcome the move of the independent ICC to hold accountable those at the top of the Russian regime, including Vladimir Putin.
“The work to investigate the atrocities committed must continue.”
Union leader Sir Keir Starmer, the former chief prosecutor’s office, also supports the move.
“Today’s announcement sends an important message: there will be no hiding place for Putin and his cronies, and the world is determined to make them pay for what they did,” he said.
“These cases are just the tip of the iceberg. One day Putin will be put on trial: until then, the focus of all those who believe in a free Ukraine must remain on ensuring their victory.
While there is no possibility of Putin’s arrest anytime soon, legal experts have pointed to the examples of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic and Liberian President Charles Taylor as international leaders on trial in The Hague.