The Kremlin says the ICC arrest warrant is an outrageously partisan decision, but insignificant with respect to Russia. Russian officials deny war crimes in Ukraine and say the West has ignored what it says are Ukrainian war crimes. After last week’s stunning arrest warrant against Russian President Vladimir Putin issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) holding him responsible for war crimes in Ukraine, his ally Dmitry Medvedev said on Thursday that any attempt to arrest the Kremlin chief would tantamount to a declaration of war against Russia.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant last Friday, accusing Putin of the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. It said there are reasonable grounds to believe that the Russian leader bears individual criminal responsibility. Former President Medvedev told Russian media that the ICC, which countries including Russia, China and the United States do not recognize, was a “legal nonentity” that had never done anything significant. Any attempt to arrest Putin, though, would be a declaration of war, warned Medvedev, who holds the post of deputy chairman of Putin’s powerful security council. “Let’s imagine – obviously this situation which will never be realized – but nevertheless let’s imagine that it was realized: The current head of the nuclear state went to a territory, say Germany, and was arrested,” Medvedev said.
“What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation,” he said in a video posted on Telegram. “And in that case, all our assets – all our missiles et cetera – would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor’s office.” The Kremlin says the ICC arrest warrant is an outrageously partisan decision, but insignificant with respect to Russia. Russian officials deny war crimes in Ukraine and say the West has ignored what it says are Ukrainian war crimes. Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine has triggered the deadliest European conflict since World War Two and the biggest confrontation between Moscow and the West since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.
Nuclear risks had risen, he said. “Every day’s delivery of foreign weapons to Ukraine brings closer the nuclear apocalypse,” Medvedev said. After the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union, he said, the West had considered itself the boss of Russia but Putin had put an end to that. He said that the West disliked the independence of Russia and China. He added the West now wanted to crack Russia apart into a host of weaker states and steal its vast natural resources. The Kremlin chief casts the conflict in Ukraine as an existential struggle to defend Russia against what he sees as an arrogant and aggressive West which he says wants to carve Russia apart. The West denies it wants to destroy Russia and says it is helping Ukraine defend itself against an imperial-style land grab. Ukraine says it will not rest until all Russian soldiers are ejected from its territory.