Russia’s Vladimir Putin to be arrested? Here’s when an ICC warrant works

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin earlier this week, linking him to the war crime of deporting Ukrainian children – at least hundreds – to the other country. While the move is largely symbolic, it is likely to have some repercussions on Moscow and its top leader as the war progresses. 

Putin is just the third head of state to be indicted by the ICC while still in power – after Sudan’s former president Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi. 

Also read: ICC issues arrest warrant against Putin – Will it affect Ukraine-Russia war?

The ICC – considered a court of last resort – does not try individuals in absentia. As such, Putin would have to either be handed over by Russia (an unlikely prospect considering he leads the country) or arrested outside of the country. It is pertinent to note here that many countries including India and the US are not party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and as such have no obligation to arrest the Russian leader.

The President might face hurdles when it come to travel or furthering diplomatic ties with other nations. Experts also argue that the latest development could also weaken Putin at home. 

“Russians may come to realize this is another reason Putin can no longer serve their country,” New York University law professor Ryan Goodman told CNN.

Also read: ICC issues arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin – What are the charges?

If his predecessors (other leaders similarly accused by the ICC) are any indicator however, the warrant is unlikely to evoke any short term effects. While the charges against Gaddafi were terminated after he was overthrown and killed in 2011, Bashir remained in office for another decade after his 2009 indictment for genocide in Darfur.

The latter also travelled to a slew of Arab and African countries – including ICC members – without facing repercussions. The court had rebuked those countries for declining to detain him or referred them to the UN Security Council for non-compliance.

(With inputs from agencies)


Catch all the Business News, Market News, Breaking News Events and Latest News Updates on Live Mint.
Download The Mint News App to get Daily Market Updates.


Leave a Comment