Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky urges allies to ensure ‘evil’ Russia is held accountable for ‘any act of terror’ as justice ministers meet in London after issuing warrant for Vladimir Putin’s arrest
- More than 40 countries are represented at today’s Lancaster House summit
- International allies gather in support of the ICC investigation into Russian war crimes
Justice ministers from around the world are meeting in London today after the issuance of an arrest warrant for Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
More than 40 countries will be represented at the gathering at Lancaster House in support of the International Criminal Court’s investigation into war crimes in Ukraine.
The ICC’s unprecedented issuance of an arrest warrant against Putin – the first to target a leader of one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – has been hailed as a “watershed moment” by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
He insisted last night that “bad” Russia “will be held responsible for any act of terrorism” against its compatriots.
The Lancaster House Summit is being hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab and Dutch Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius.
Vladimir Putin made a defiant visit to Mariupol, a Ukrainian port city captured by Russia, over the weekend after the issuance of an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged last night that “bad” Russia “will be held responsible for any act of terror” against its compatriots
The Lancaster House Summit is being hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab (pictured) and Dutch Justice Minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius.
Britain is increasing its financial support for the ICC, based in The Hague in the Netherlands, to £1 million this year and other countries are also expected to commit to financial and practical aid.
Mr Zelensky will open today’s meeting via video link and in a speech to Ukrainians last night he praised the ICC’s issuing of an arrest warrant for Mr Putin.
“The evil state will be held responsible for any act of terror against Ukrainians,” he said. “This week finally brought a really important international legal result for Ukraine, for justice.
“There is an arrest warrant from the ICC for the arrest of the Russian leader, and this is a turning point. The moment when it becomes undeniable that the end of this aggression will be for Russia the full scope of its responsibility.
Responsibility for every attack on Ukraine, for every life destroyed, for every deported Ukrainian child. And of course for any expression of world destabilization caused by Russian aggression.’
The ICC has issued an order against Putin for Russia’s alleged deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children during the conflict.
Kiev says more than 16,000 Ukrainian children have been deported to Russia since the beginning of Putin’s invasion, many of them placed in institutions and foster homes.
The court also issued an arrest warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights.
The ICC’s 123 member states are now obliged to detain and hand over Putin if he sets foot on their territory.
But the Kremlin has called the move against the Russian president “outrageous and unacceptable.”
Putin made a defiant visit to Mariupol, a Ukrainian port city captured by Russia, last weekend.
He also welcomed Chinese leader Xi Jinping to Moscow today.
Ahead of the Lancaster House meeting, Mr Raab – who is both Justice Minister and Deputy Prime Minister – said: ‘We are meeting today in London, united by one cause, to hold war criminals accountable for the atrocities committed in Ukraine during this unjust, unprovoked war. and illegal invasion.
“The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the ICC with the funding, people and expertise to ensure justice is served.”