Germany has announced that if Russian President Vladimir Putin enters German territory and the International Criminal Court requests enforcement, the country’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann will be arrested.
The ICC issued arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s children’s rights commissioner in charge of overseeing the forced deportation of Ukrainian children, on March 17. After Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir and Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi, Putin became the third incumbent state leader to be issued an ICC arrest warrant.
The ICC’s decision obligates 123 ICC member countries to arrest Putin and extradite him to The Hague if he enters their territory.
According to the ICC, there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin is directly responsible for the forced kidnapping and relocation of over 16,000 Ukrainian children since the beginning of the full-scale invasion. According to President Volodymyr Zelensky, the true figure could be much higher.
Thousands of Ukrainian civilians have been illegally transferred or deported to Russia, in violation of the Geneva Conventions.
Putin is fluent in German and spent time in the country as a KGB agent during the Soviet Union’s demise.
“I expect the ICC to approach Interpol and the contracting states quickly and request enforcement,” Buschmann told the German magazine Bild.