At a time when Russian President Vladimir Putin finds himself under increasing pressure on a number of fronts over his handling of the war in Ukraine, this week’s state visit by Chinese President Xi Jingpin to Moscow will be seen as a welcome demonstration of support by a key ally.
Not only has Putin had to deal with the fall-out with Russia’s faltering war effort in Ukraine, but the decision by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to press charges against the Russian leader for war crimes represents a significant blow to his international prestige.
The arrest warrant issued by the ICC in the Hague relates to allegations that Putin has been responsible for overseeing the mass abduction of Ukrainian children. This was after a panel of judges agreed that there were “reasonable grounds” to believe Putin and his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, bore responsibility for the “unlawful deportation” of Ukrainian children.
Situation in #Ukraine: #ICC judges issue arrest warrants against Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova
Read moreMarch 17, 2023
The issuing of the ICC’s arrest warrant is a serious matter for the Russian leader, as it places him in the same company as Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi and former Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.
Even though Russia does not recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC, and claims it will not be affected by the warrants, the omens are not good for Putin when measured against the fates that have befallen previous recipients of ICC arrest warrants.