The International Criminal Court is expected to seek its first arrest warrants against Russian officials for forcibly deporting children from Ukraine and targeting civilian infrastructure, reported news agency Reuters. The development comes amid an intense fight for Bakhmut as Ukraine’s future hinges on the outcome of fighting with Russia in and around the small eastern city.
“Moscow would be certain to reject arrest warrants against its officials,” the report stated, adding an international war crimes prosecution could deepen Moscow’s diplomatic isolation over a campaign that has killed thousands of civilians.
The ICC had opened a probe into possible war crimes in Ukraine last year and is expected to seek its first arrest warrants against Russian officials in relation to the conflict “in the short term”, the report said quoting a source as saying.
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Though it was not clear as to which Russian officials, the prosecutor might seek warrants against or when they might come, but they could include the crime of genocide, it added.
Meanwhile, Russian deputy speaker in the upper house of parliament, Konstantin Kosachyov said that the ICC has no jurisdiction over the country as Moscow opted out in 2016 and called the agency “an instrument of neo-colonialism in the hands of the West”.
Xi Jinping To Reach Russia
In a long-sought diplomatic breakthrough, Chinese President Xi Jinping could visit Russia as soon as next week, stated Reuters report quoting sources although there has been no word by Chinese Foreign Ministry or Kremlin on the subject yet.
President Vladimir Putin has touted such a visit as a show of support, but it could be overshadowed by the possibility that Xi may separately speak by video link to Zelenskiy for the first time since the invasion.