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Blinken: European ICC members should arrest Putin if he visits

by The Kyiv Independent news desk March 22, 2023 8:45 PM 1 min read
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies during a Senate Appropriations State-Foreign Operations Subcommittee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 22, 2023, in Washington, DC. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
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U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on March 22, as cited by CNN, that any European state member of the International Criminal Court (ICC) should arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin in case of his visit.

"I think that anyone who is a party to the court and has obligations should fulfill their obligations," Blinken said at a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing.

When asked whether Putin would be detained if he traveled to the U.S., Blinken replied he didn't want to discuss it, adding that the U.S. is not a party to the court.

"I don't think he has any plans to travel here soon," Blinken said, as quoted by CNN. Russian leader's last visit to the U.S. took place in 2015.

The ICC issued an arrest warrant on March 17 for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children to Russia -- a move that President Volodymyr Zelensky called "historic."

The arrest warrant was met with resistance in Russia.

All 123 countries that are members of the ICC and have ratified the Rome Status, which establishes crimes falling within the jurisdiction of the court, are now obliged to cooperate with the court's demand to arrest Putin.

Russia withdrew from the ICC in 2016 following criticism of Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea.

The United States played an active role in negotiations that led to the creation of the ICC. However, having previously signed the Rome Statute, Washington withdrew its signature in 2002 and indicated it would not ratify it.

Bloomberg: Hungary vetoed joint EU statement on Putin’s ICC arrest warrant
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