Germany will have to arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin if he enters German territory and if the International Criminal Court asks contracting states for enforcement, the country's Justice Minister Marco Buschmann has said, Bild reported on March 18.
“I expect the ICC to quickly approach Interpol and the contracting states and ask them for enforcement,” Buschmann said.
On March 17, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia's children's rights commissioner overseeing the forced deportations of Ukrainian children. It made Putin the third incumbent state leader to be issued an ICC arrest warrant, after Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi.
The ICC’s decision obligates 123 countries that are ICC members to arrest Putin and send him to The Hague if he enters their territory.
According to a statement put out by the ICC, there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin is directly responsible for overseeing the forced kidnapping and relocation of over 16,000 Ukrainian children since the start of the full-scale invasion. President Volodymyr Zelensky said the actual number might be much higher.
Russian forces have unlawfully transferred or deported thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, violating the Geneva Conventions.
On March 6, Ukraine’s National Information Bureau reported that Russia had abducted over 16,000 Ukrainian children. Only 125 of them have been returned to Ukraine.