If Putin were to enter the country, Hungary claims it would not detain him


Despite the fact that the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last week, accusing him of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine, Hungary says it would not arrest him if he entered the country.

Gergely Gulyas, the chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said on Thursday, March 23, that even though Hungary is a signatory to the ICC Statute, the treaty that established the ICC, and ratified it in 2001, arresting Putin would be illegal under Hungarian law.

“We can refer to the Hungarian law and based on that we cannot arrest the Russian President … as the ICC’s statute has not been promulgated in Hungary,” Gulyas said. He added that the Hungarian government had not yet “formed a stance” on the ICC arrest warrant for Putin.

Orban and his government have been the closest ally of the Kremlin within Europe. Orban was the most hesitant European Union leader to impose sanctions on Russia after Putin ordered Russian troops to invade Ukraine last year, and he has expressed opposition to Western nations sending arms to Ukraine. Orban has warned that Europe is “drifting into” the Ukraine war and has made significant efforts to prevent Ukraine from joining NATO.

The ICC’s 123 member states are required to act on an arrest warrant, which means that if Putin enters any of these territories, he should be arrested by national law enforcement. Gulyas, on the other hand, claimed on Thursday that the Rome Statute has not been incorporated into the Hungarian legal system and thus would not apply.

“These decisions are not the most fortunate because they take things towards further escalation and not towards peace,” Gulyas said of the arrest warrant.


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