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A growing list of countries say they will arrest Putin if he goes there, enforcing an international warrant accusing him of war crimes

putinRussian President Vladimir Putin attends the Eurasian Economic Summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on November 9, 2022.

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  • A growing number of country in Europe say they will arrest Putin if he crosses their borders.
  • Ireland, Croatia, Austria, and Germany said this week they arrest him, in line with an ICC warrant.
  • The likelihood this would happen is low, but the warrant is a further blow to Russia’s reputation.

A growing number of countries in Europe said they would arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever goes there.

Although the threat is largely symbolic, it is nonetheless embarrassing for Putin, who is increasingly being treated in the West as a criminal rather than a national leader.

The International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest on March 17, accusing him of ordering the abduction of children in occupied parts of Ukraine, which would be a war crime.

Countries who recognise the ICC are meant to enforce its warrants, and in the days that followed various countries have made clear that they would.

Germany soon said it would enforce the warrant, followed by Ireland on Tuesday, then Austria and also Croatia said the same on Friday.

Other countries — including the UK and France — welcomed the ICC decision but did not explicitly commit to arresting Putin.

—James Cleverly🇬🇧 (@JamesCleverly) March 17, 2023

President Joe Biden called the ICC’s warrant “justified,” but noted that the US is not part of the ICC system.  

One European country is a standout, however, after Hungary said on Thursday it would not arrest Putin if he were to travel to the country.

While the country is both a NATO ally and member of the EU — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has faced criticism in the past for his close ties with Russia’s president, Insider previously reported.

Russia quickly dismissed the warrant when it was issued and opened its own criminal investigation into the ICC.

Some media in Russia suggested that the effect of the warrant was still being felt in the Kremlin.

The outlet Meduza — operating in exile after Russia cracked down on independent reporting on its invasion — published a story saying the Kremlin was rocked by the announcement.

One unnamed source said “it’s as if our president is some kind of pariah” while another said “it’s like we’re truly in global isolation.”

Read the original article on Business Insider
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