EU High Representative Josep Borrell said he condemned the threats against the International Criminal Court and the Netherlands, where the court is located, from a “high-ranking representative of Russia.” According to RBC, his words are quoted by the EU Delegation to Russia.
“The European Union confirms that it fully supports the ICC. Any retaliatory measures against those involved in the work of the ICC are unacceptable. The International Criminal Court, which plays a leading role in the fight against impunity, must be able to operate independently and impartially,” Borrell said.
He promised that the EU would protect the court from “any external interference aimed at obstructing justice.”
On March 20, after the ICC, whose Rome Statute has not been ratified by Russia, issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev announced “the final collapse of the system of international law”, called the ICC “shitty” and wrote: “Alas, gentlemen, all walk under God and rockets. It is quite possible to imagine the targeted use of a hypersonic carrier from the North Sea from a Russian ship at the Hague courthouse. Unfortunately, he can’t be knocked down.”
The ICC issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Children’s Ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova on March 17, explaining that they were responsible “for the war crime of illegally deporting the population (children) from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia.” In response, the Russian Foreign Ministry called any such decisions of the ICC “insignificant from the point of view of law”, and the Kremlin stressed that Moscow does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court.
The Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against the judges and the ICC prosecutor. In Russia, they are suspected of “preparing to attack a representative of a foreign state enjoying international protection.” In addition, ICC judges are being prosecuted for “knowingly unlawful detention”, and a prosecutor for “bringing a knowingly innocent person to criminal liability, combined with unlawful accusation of a person of committing a grave or especially grave crime.”
Notably, in 2018, the United States threatened ICC judges with sanctions. Those in response promised to “continue independent investigations.” Including – the crimes of American soldiers who are suspected of using torture in Afghanistan. “We are not going to cooperate with the International Criminal Court. We won’t help, and we certainly won’t join him. We will let him die his own death. For that matter, the International Criminal Court is already practically dead to us, ”said John Bolton, then national security adviser to the President of the United States.
He also threatened sanctions if the court continued proceedings against the United States, Israel and other American allies: “We will ban the judges and prosecutors of this court from entering the territory of the United States. We will seize their assets, we will prosecute them under American criminal law.” Bolton noted that the same fate will befall “any private company or state that cooperates with the ICC in the prosecution of American citizens.”
The Americans intend to raise in the UN Security Council the issue of depriving the ICC of “broad powers”, in order to thus protect citizens of the United States and allied countries who have not ratified the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the International Criminal Court, from possible investigations.
Mario Twitchell is an accomplished author and journalist, known for his insightful and thought-provoking writing on a wide range of topics including general and opinion. He currently works as a writer at 247 news agency, where he has established himself as a respected voice in the industry.