The International Criminal Court’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin is historic and will make the leaders of the states that signed the Rome Statute to decide whether they support Russia’s actions or not, Ukraine’s Ambassador to Moldova Marko Shevchenko stated in a public debate hosted by IPN. According to the diplomat, all the leaders of the world will have to decide if they accept the presence of Vladimir Putin in their country and if they will implement the ICC’s decision or not.
The ICC on March 17 issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for overseeing the abduction of Ukrainian children. The bold legal move will obligate the Court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory. Marko Shevchenko said that not even the immunity he enjoys as President can save Vladimir Putin from punishment for the committed war crimes.
The ambassador said the warrant against Vladimir Putin is one of the rare occasions when the Court issued a warrant for a sitting head of state, putting Putin in the company of the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and the Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir. The aspect with the personal immunity of President Putin is not clearly defined in international law, but the experts of the Court in The Hague are among the best international law experts and they wouldn’t have issued an arrest warrant if they hadn’t seen an end result in this case.
Marko Shevchenko said the people of Ukraine welcomed with enthusiasm the ICC’s decision. The arrest warrant against Putin leaves no room for hesitation among the world leaders. Now that this decision was taken, each head of state will have to decide whether they take sides with the aggressor or with the civilized world.
“The Ukrainian society’s reaction was one of joy. The most eloquent message was transmitted by President Zelensky, who said that the decision taken by the Court in The Hague is a historic decision that opens the way for the punishment of those responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. It is a historic decision as it represents a point for the crystallization of the positions of all the states of the world. After this decision, each of the 123 countries that signed the Rome Statute should decide if they will execute the arrest warrant or not, if Vladimir Putin will be welcomed in the given state or not,” said the Ukrainian diplomat.
The public debate entitled “Arrest warrant for Putin: effects for Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and Europe” was the 278th installment of IPN’s project “Developing Political Culture through Public Debates” that is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation of Germany.