WASHINGTON, March 18. /TASS/. US President Joe Biden said on Friday that he considers the decision of the pre-trial chamber of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague to issue a warrant for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin justified. But the United States does not recognize the decision of this court, he added. Biden was talking to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House before flying to Delaware. His words are quoted by the White House press corps.
When asked about the ICC's decision on Putin, Biden said, "Well, I think it's justified. But the question is, it's not recognized internationally by us, either. But I think it makes a very strong point."
When asked to comment on the coming meeting in Moscow between Russian leader and Chinese President Xi Jinping next week Biden said: "Well, we'll see when that meeting takes place."
On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. The court’s statement said they could be responsible "for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation."
Commenting on this decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov noted that Moscow does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the decisions of the ICC have no meaning for Russia, possible arrest warrants are legally void.
The ICC was created by the 1998 Rome Statute. It is not part of the UN and is accountable to countries that have ratified the statute. Countries not party to the statute include Russia (signed but not ratified), the United States (signed but later withdrew), and China (did not sign the statute). In 2016, Putin signed a decree under which Russia would not become a member of the ICC. According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, this court "did not justify the hopes rested on it and did not become a truly independent body of international justice.".