War-crimes warrant for Vladimir Putin could complicate Ukraine peace

THE HAGUE: An international arrest warrant for the President Putin raised the prospect of being invaded by water Ukraine must face justice, but it complicates efforts to end that war in peace negotiations.
Today, both justice and peace seem like distant possibilities, and the conflicting relationship between the two is a dilemma at the heart of the March 17 decision of the National Criminal Court. to seek to arrest the Russian leader.
The judges in The Hague found “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin and his commissioner in charge of children’s rights are responsible for war crimes, in particular the illegal deportation and illegal transportation of children from the occupied regions of Ukraine to Russia.
Now it seems that unlike Putin sitting in a courtroom in The Hague, other leaders have faced justice in international courts.
Former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic, a driving force behind the Balkan wars of the 1990s, has been put on trial for war crimes, including genocide, at a United Nations tribunal in The Hague after he lost power.
He died in his cell in 2006 before a verdict could be delivered.
Serbia, which wants to become a member of the European Union but maintains close ties with Russia, is among the countries that have criticized the ICC’s actions.
Populist Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said the order “will have bad political consequences” and create “great reluctance to talk about peace (and) about a ceasefire” in Ukraine.
Others see the consequences for Putin, and for anyone convicted of war crimes, as the primary desired outcome of international action.
“There will be no way out for the perpetrator and his henchmen,” European Union leader Ursula von der Leyen said Friday in a speech marking the fifth anniversary of the liberation of Bucha, the Ukrainian town witnessed. some of the worst atrocities. in war “War criminals will be held accountable for their deeds.”
Hungary did not join 26 other EU members in signing a resolution supporting the ICC’s order against Putin. The government’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, said Hungarian authorities would not arrest Putin if he entered the country.
He called the orders “not the luckiest because they lead to escalation, not peace.”
Putin seems to have a firm grip on power, and some analysts doubt his arrest warrant could provide the impetus to prolong the war.
“Putin’s arrest could undermine efforts to reach a peace agreement in Ukraine,” Daniel Krmaric, an associate professor of political science at Northwestern University, said in an emailed comment to the AP news agency. .
One potential way to facilitate peace talks is for the United Nations Security Council to call on the International Criminal Court to suspend the Ukraine investigation for one year, which is allowed under Article 16 of the UN Security Council. The treaty of the Statute of Rome created the court.
But that seems unlikely, says Krcmaric, author of “The Justice Dilemma,” which addresses the tension between seeking justice and pursuing a negotiated solution to end the conflict.
“Western democracies will have to worry about the public cost if they make the morally questionable decision to trade justice for peace in such an obvious way,” he said. ,” he said, adding that Ukraine is also unlikely to support such a move.
Russia immediately denied the subpoenas. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Moscow does not recognize the ICC and considers its decisions “legally void”.
And Dmitry Medvedev, vice chairman of Russia’s Security Council, chaired by Putin, thinks the ICC headquarters on the Dutch coast could be the target of a Russian missile strike.
Alexander Baunov, an analyst with the Carnegie Endowment, commented in a commentary that Putin’s arrest warrant as “an invitation to the Russian elite to abandon Putin” could erode his support.
While welcoming the arrest warrant for Putin and his commissioner for children’s rights, rights groups also urge the international community not to forget to pursue justice in other conflicts.
“The ICC’s order against Putin reflects the growing and multifaceted judicial effort needed elsewhere in the world,” said Balkees Jarrah, deputy director of international justice for Human Rights Watch, in a statement. gender”.
“Similar judicial initiatives are needed elsewhere to ensure that the rights of victims globally — whether in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Myanmar or Palestine — are respected.”


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