ST.PIETROBURGO. Gleb Bogush is a Russian expert on international criminal law and a researcher at the University of Copenhagen.
CWhat consequence will the arrest warrant issued against Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin’s Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, have?
“Russia has no legal obligation to cooperate with the International Criminal Court, so it is unrealistic to think that these people will be tried, at least for now.”
Can Vladimir Putin be called a “war criminal” now?
“No, there is the presumption of innocence. Until the sentence is passed by the Court, it is not legally correct to define him as a “war criminal”.
QHow likely is Putin to be arrested if he visits a country that recognizes the Court’s authority?
“Formally and juridically it is possible but in practice unlikely. Firstly, Putin does not visit the signatory countries of the Rome Statute, especially in this period. And, secondly, Putin enjoys presidential immunity which makes his arrest complicated for many states ».
LRussia is suspected of several war crimes in Ukraine. Because the court of justice has decided to focus precisely on the issue of the deportation of children?
“This is a subject on which there is a lot of information available. Putin and Lvova-Belova themselves have already told a lot about this. Furthermore, the defense of children is one of the main priorities of the Court”.
PWhy did the Court issue an arrest warrant and not a simple summons?
«We don’t know for sure, these decisions are not made public for security reasons. In this case it is clear that these people do not cooperate with the Court, did not respond to its requests and continue to commit crimes. The prosecutor addressed the government of Russia many times and never received any response. There were no other variants».
What is the impact of the Court’s decision on a symbolic and political level?
«It is a gesture of enormous symbolic value, even beyond the war in Ukraine. In the first place, the Court did not allow itself to be intimidated by one of the permanent members of the UN Security Council. He also points out that the immunity of a head of state does not represent an obstacle for the International Criminal Court. It is also an important step towards delegitimizing the Russian regime and Putin personally. It is a long process but it is obvious that it will make it even more difficult for Russia to normalize its international relations. Furthermore, it is important to demonstrate that there are concrete culprits behind these crimes”. GIO.PI.