Espreso. Global

World reacts to ICC's decision to issue arrest warrant for Kremlin leader 

18 March, 2023 Saturday

Commenting on the International Criminal Court's decision, Ukraine's FM said that the wheels of justice are turning, while Human Rights Watch called the arrest warrant for Putin a wake-up call for those who commit abuses or conceal them

Espreso collected reactions of the Ukrainian and international community to the decision of the International Criminal Court.

“Wheels of Justice are turning: I applaud the ICC decision to issue arrest warrants for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova over forcible transfer of Ukrainian children. International criminals will be held accountable for stealing children and other international crimes,” Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted. 

In a statement on Friday, Human Rights Watch called the International Criminal Court's decision to issue an arrest warrant for Russian President Putin a wake-up call to others who commit or conceal abuses.

According to Deputy Director of international justice at Human Rights Watch Balkees Jarrah, this is a great day for the many victims of crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine since 2014. With these arrest warrants, the International Criminal Court has put Putin on the wanted list and taken the first step to end the impunity that has emboldened the perpetrators of Russia's war against Ukraine for too long. 

“The warrants send a clear message that giving orders to commit or tolerating serious crimes against civilians may lead to a prison cell in The Hague. The court’s warrants are a wakeup call to others committing abuses or covering them up that their day in court may be coming, regardless of their rank or position,” Jarrah said.

“Well-deserved notoriety for Putin. I'm sure this may affect Xi's approach to his "friend" during the visit. Perfect timing,” commented Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, former Commander of the US Army in Europe.

Wayne Jordash, an international human rights lawyer and managing partner of Global Rights Compliance, was quoted by Voice of America as saying that we should expect further warrants within the next few months.

“Essential first step. Reasonable Grounds to believe that Putin is responsible for these war crimes and many others. Kudos to the ICC,” he tweeted. In a comment to The Guardian, he added: “There will be more [arrest warrants] over the next few months. This is a kind of warning shot. This is the prosecutor just starting the case.”

Commenting on the ICC's decision, Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas wrote: “A step closer to judgment day.”

“With the first warrant of arrest for Putin, ICC sends out a historic signal: all atrocities against Ukraine stem from the criminal policy of Russian leaders. Reminder that no-one is immune, not even heads of state. The Russian regime will be held accountable,” she tweeted. 

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