(NewsGlobal.com)- The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin last week over accusations that he has committed war crimes as part of his war with Ukraine.
The accusations that were handed down by the ICC include accusing Putin of having responsibility personally for abducting children from Ukraine during the war.
Most people around the world celebrated the decision, even if it isn’t likely to have any effect at all on Putin. The ICC can try people for war crimes, but since they aren’t an international law enforcement agency, they can’t go into a country to arrest a world leader.
That means that Russia would either have to turn Putin over to be tried for his crimes, or he would have to be arrested when he enters another country that wouldn’t protect him. Neither of those situations seems very likely.
There is one world leader who came out and criticized the decision by the ICC to issue the arrest warrant in the first place – Aleksandar Vucic, the president of Serbia. This is probably not a surprise, though, as Vucic has in the past touted the personal relationship that he has with Putin.
Speaking in Belgrade with reporters recently, Vucic said:
“I think issuing an arrest warrant for Putin, not to go into legal matters, will have bad political consequences, and it says that there is a great reluctance to talk about peace (and) about truce” with Ukraine.
Vucic does make an interesting point. How will Putin react to this arrest warrant being issued? Most likely, it’ll be a negative reaction, at the very least shrugging it off as no big deal and issued for the wrong reasons.
One thing it may do is actually anger Putin and make him less likely to want to talk to Ukraine and other western leaders about a peace plan for the war. Even if he were to come to the negotiation table now, it would have to be done either in Russia or in another country where he felt safe enough to go and not be turned over to the ICC to face his crimes.
As Vucic explained:
“My question is now that you have accused him of the biggest war crimes, who are you going to talk to now? Do you really think that it is possible to defeat Russia in a month, three months or a year? There is no doubt that the goal of those who did this is to make it difficult for Putin to communicate, so that everyone who talks to him is aware that he is accused of war crimes.”
Reporters pressed Vucic on whether Serbian authorities would arrest Putin if he were to visit Serbia. He responded that it’s “a pointless question, because it is clear that as long as the conflict (in Ukraine) continues, Putin has nowhere to go.”
So, if anything, this arrest warrant is going to force Putin to hunker down, stay in Russia and go full-speed-ahead with his war effort, according to Vucic.