MOSCOW: The speaker of Russia’s parliament on Saturday proposed banning the International Criminal Court (ICC) after the court issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin, charging him with war crimes.
Vyacheslav Volodin, a Putin ally, said Russian legislation should be amended to ban any ICC activity in Russia and punish anyone who provided “aid and support” to the ICC.
“It is necessary to develop changes to the legislation prohibiting any activity of the ICC on the territory of our country,” Volodin said in a Telegram post.
Volodin said the United States had passed laws to prevent its citizens from being tried by the Hague court and that Russia should continue that work.
Any assistance or support to the ICC in Russia should be punishable by law, he said.
The ICC issued an arrest warrant earlier this month charging Putin with the war crime of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. She said there are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility.
Russian officials have warned that any attempt to arrest Putin, Russia’s supreme leader since the last day of 1999, would be tantamount to declaring war on the world’s biggest nuclear power.
In its first arrest warrant for Ukraine, the ICC called for Putin’s arrest on suspicion of the illegal deportation of children and the illegal transportation of people from the territory of Ukraine to the Russian Federation from 24 February 2022.
The Kremlin says the ICC warrant is a blatantly partisan decision, but it makes no sense in relation to Russia. Russian officials deny war crimes in Ukraine and say the West has ignored what they say are Ukrainian war crimes.
Major powers such as Russia, the United States and China are not members of the ICC, although 123 countries are parties to the Rome Statute, including Britain, France, Germany and some former Soviet republics such as Tajikistan.
Ukraine is not a member of the ICC, although Kyiv has granted it the power to prosecute crimes committed on its territory.