Sat, 03 Jun 2023

US President Joe Biden has welcomed the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian leader has "clearly" committed war crimes in Ukraine. Moscow is not party to the Rome Statute of the ICC and has dismissed the warrant as legally baseless. Ukraine, on the other hand, has hailed a "historic" step to secure justice. Follow our live blog for the latest updates on the war in Ukraine. All times Paris time (GMT+1).

8:35am: ICC arrest warrant for Putin 'a highly symbolic move'

Chances of Russia's Vladimir Putin facing trial at the ICC are highly unlikely because Moscow does not recognise the court's jurisdiction or extradite its nationals, FRANCE 24's Kyiv correspondent Emmanuelle Chaze reports.

However, the moral condemnation will stain the Russian leader and follow him whenever he seeks to attend an international summit in one of the court's 123 member states that are theoretically bound to arrest him.

6:25am: Turkey still hopeful of extension to Ukraine grain deal

Turkey is hoping that a grain export deal between Kyiv and Moscow key to alleviating a global food crisis can be extended for another 120 days - but time is running out, with the current deal expiring just before midnight on Saturday, Istanbul time.

"The deadline is approaching," Turkey's Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Friday. "We are in touch with both Ukraine and Russia about extending the agreement under its original terms."

Russia's full-scale invasion in February 2022 saw Ukraine's Black Sea ports blocked by warships.

But a deal brokered by Turkey and the United Nations in July 2022 - and signed by Kyiv and Moscow - has allowed for the safe passage of exports of critical grain supplies.

2:15am: Putin 'clearly committed war crimes', says Biden

US President Joe Biden has welcomed the International Criminal Court's (ICC) decision to issue an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, saying the Russian leader has "clearly committed war crimes".

The ICC earlier on Friday called for Putin's arrest on suspicion of unlawful deportation of children and unlawful transfer of people from Ukraine to Russia since Moscow's invasion began of its neighbor last year. The United States is not a member of the ICC.

"Well, I think it's justified," Biden told reporters, referring to the warrant. "But the question is - it's not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point."

The United States separately has concluded that Russian forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine and supports accountability for perpetrators of war crimes, a State Department spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

10:44pm: 'First time' leader of a UN Security Council permanent member is charged: ICC prosecutor

In an interview with FRANCE 24 after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the court's chief prosecutor Karim Khan said it was an important day for international justice.

The warrant marked "the first time ever that a head of state from a P5 has been charged" by the international court, said Khan referring to the UN Security Council's permanent five members.

9:53pm: Zelensky hails ICC move, blames Putin for child deportations

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that the International Criminal Court's decision to issue an arrest warrant against President Vladimir Putin was historic and blamed the Russian leader for the deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children.

"This is an historic decision which will lead to historic accountability," he said in his nightly video address. The real number of deported children could be "far more" than 16,000, he said, adding that their deportations constituted a policy of "state evil which starts precisely with the top official of this state."

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP & Reuters)

Originally published on France24

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