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Putin may be permitted to attend second peace summit despite arrest warrant, Swiss president says

by Dmytro Basmat June 17, 2024 3:30 AM 2 min read
Russian President Vladimir Putin holds his annual press conference at the Manezh exhibition hall in central Moscow on Dec. 23, 2021. (kremlin.ru)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin may be permitted to attend a potential second global peace summit, despite an International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant issued against him, Swiss President Viola Amherd told reporters on June 16.

When asked if Switzerland would be obliged to arrest Putin as a signatory of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, Amherd said that exceptions can arranged in order for Putin to appear in person.

"If the presence of (Putin) is necessary for holding the conference, then an exception can be made. In case of the negotiations on peace in Ukraine with Russia this can be such an exception," Amherd told reporters following the conclusion of the first peace summit, adding that a "decision must be adopted by the (Swiss) government."

On March 17, 2023, the ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian official allegedly overseeing the forced deportations of at least tens of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia and Russian-occupied territories.

The ICC asserts that there are "reasonable grounds to believe" that Putin holds direct accountability for supervising the deportations and that he neglected to exert authority over Russian soldiers and civilians executing the crime across occupied Ukrainian regions from the onset of Russia's all-out war against Ukraine.

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

Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis echoed Amherd's comments, noting that exceptions would need to made alongside the ICC.

"It is possible according to our laws. Of course, we have to do it together with the ICC, but as a host country, we can make an exception to this," Cassis said.

Russia was not invited to attend this year's peace summit.

A number of countries have called for Russia to be present at the peace summit, despite Russia having ruled out their participation in mid-March.

After the conclusion of the first peace summit, President Volodymyr Zelensky wrote that a second peace summit "should lay the foundations of lasting and just peace."

Zelensky’s office outlines next steps for diplomatic effort after peace summit
Ministers and advisors of various countries will hold further meetings on the three points of Ukraine’s peace plan discussed at the peace summit in Burgenstock, Switzerland on June 15-16, the Ukrainian Presidential Office said.



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