“There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities (in) Ukraine, and we have been clear that those responsible must be held accountable,” the spokesperson added. “This was a decision the ICC prosecutor reached independently based on the facts before him.”
The ICC move obligates the court’s 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory. The ICC also issued a warrant on Friday for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, on the same charges.
A US-backed report by Yale University researchers last month said Russia has held at least 6,000 Ukrainian children in at least 43 camps and other facilities as part of a “large-scale systematic network”.
Russia has denied accusations that its forces have committed atrocities during its invasion. The Kremlin said on Friday the ICC arrest warrant against Putin was outrageous, but meaningless with respect to Russia.