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Russian official says arresting Putin would lead to war

By Elizabeth Delaney
|
March 24, 2023

The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin on Friday in connection to his Ukraine war, but he doesn't seem to be taking the issuing of that warrant too seriously.

Top Russian official Dmitry Medvedev warned that any attempt to actually arrest Putin would be looked on as "a declaration of war" against Russia, according to The Hill.

President Biden said on Friday that he approves of the warrant to arrest Putin, and he feels it's "justified" because he believes Putin has, "clearly committed war crimes," according to Fox News.

Medvedev outlines potential Russian response if Putin taken into custody

Medvedev serves as Deputy Chairman of Putin's Security Council, and is a former president of Russia.

Medvedev claims that the ICC is a, "legal nonentity" that doesn't truly have any power and hasn't ever done anything of any real significance, according to Reuters.

Nevertheless, Medvedev took a moment to outline his perception of what would follow if Putin were actually taken into custody.

"Let's imagine - obviously this situation which will never be realized - but nevertheless lets imagine that it was realized: The current head of the nuclear state went to a territory, say Germany, and was arrested," Medvedev said in a video posted on Telegram, according to Reuters.

"What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation. And in that case, all our assets - all our missiles etcetera - would fly to the Bundestag, to the Chancellor's office," Medvedev said.

On Monday, Medvedev outlined his perception of what it could look like if the Kremlin decided to fire a hypersonic missile at the ICC.

"I’m afraid, gentlemen, everyone is answerable to God and missiles," "It’s quite possible to imagine how a hypersonic Oniks fired from a Russian warship in the North Sea strikes the court building in the Hague. It can’t be shot down, I’m afraid," Medvedev said in a message he wrote on Telegram, according to Fox News.

ICC's specific charges against Putin

The charges for the arrest warrant against Putin are specifically connected to his alleged act of deporting hundreds of children from the Ukraine. However, the Kremlin says the warrant is meaningless from their perspective, according to Reuters.

The ICC said they believe there is sufficient evidence that Putin is solely responsible for the alleged criminal activity.

Basically, the ICC is an international body that was created in July 2002. There are at least 123 states that are participating and bound by an agreement called the Rome Statute, according to UNC.

The ICC is considered a "last resort" in instances of international crimes such as war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity, according to Human Rights Watch.

Putin intends to fight to win

"President Putin doesn’t plan for peace, he’s planning for more war,” Jens Stoltenberg, Nato's top leader told The Guardian in an interview.

Stoltenberg added that Russia in continuing to increase military industrial production and is also “reaching out to authoritarian regimes like Iran or North Korea, and others to try to get more weapons."

In a press briefing on Tuesday, NSC Coordinator for Strategic Communiations John Kirby was asked whether or not he felt there is a budding alliance between China and Russia taking place.

"I think you've seen over the years now these two countries going -- growing closer together...I wouldn't go so far to call it an alliance...I [have] called it a 'marriage of convenience,' because that's what I think it is."