International Criminal Court to open Ukraine office following Putin arrest warrant

The International Criminal Court (ICC) announced on Thursday that it will open an office in Ukraine, less than a week after issuing an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin over war crimes allegations.

“I firmly believe that the opening of the ICC country office in Ukraine marks the beginning of a new chapter in our close cooperation with the Court,” Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin, who signed the agreement on behalf of his country, said in a statement.

“This is just a start, a strong start, and I’m convinced that we will not stop until all perpetrators of international crimes committed in Ukraine are brought to justice, independently of their political or military position,” Kostin added.

The announcement comes after the court issued an arrest warrant last Friday for Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, the commissioner for children’s rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, over the alleged deportation of children from Ukraine to Russia.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky also touted the agreement on Thursday, emphasizing that it will “allow international justice to be even more active in investigating the crimes of the Russian military on our Ukrainian soil.”

“I am thankful to the entire team of the International Criminal Court, the Office of the Prosecutor General, our partners, everyone who helps the work of international justice — the investigation of Russian crimes against Ukraine and Ukrainians,” Zelensky added during his nightly address.

Ukraine is not a party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that created the ICC, but has previously accepted the court’s jurisdiction to investigate alleged crimes committed in its territory.

Tags Andriy Kostin International Criminal Court russia Russia-Ukraine war Russian war crimes ukraine Vladimir Putin Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelensky Volodymyr Zelensky war crimes

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