(March 17): Russia said on Friday (March 17) that an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague against Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes was meaningless.
"The decisions of the International Criminal Court have no meaning for our country, including from a legal point of view," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on her Telegram channel.
"Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and bears no obligations under it."
The Kremlin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian commissioner for children's rights, was like Putin accused by the ICC of the war crime of illegal deportation of children from Ukraine.
"It's great that the international community has appreciated this work to help the children of our country: that we don't leave them in war zones, that we take them out, that we create good conditions for them, that we surround them with loving, caring people," she told journalists, according to the state-run RIA news agency.
Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000, but never ratified it to become a member of the ICC, and finally withdrew its signature in 2016.
At the time, Russia was under international pressure over its seizure and unilateral annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, as well as a campaign of air strikes in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad's war against rebels.