The US has not agreed to provide information to the ICC out of concerns that the court could one day investigate US officials.
A bipartisan group of US senators has asked President Joe Biden to share information with the International Criminal Court (ICC) as it prosecutes Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes charges over the “unlawful deportation” of children from Ukraine.
On Friday, six Democratic and Republican senators sent a letter to Biden urging him to support the ICC, which issued an arrest warrant against Putin last week, more than a year after Russia invaded Ukraine.
“Despite the urgent need to hold perpetrators of atrocities accountable, as evidenced by the ICC’s arrest warrant against Putin, recent reporting suggests that your government has not yet used this new authority to provide much-needed assistance to the ICC’s efforts. ICC,” the letter said. is reading.
Biden has previously stated that Russia is committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, and the letter calls on his administration to contribute to efforts to hold Putin accountable.
However, the United States itself is not a party to the ICC and has consistently denied that the body has the authority to investigate allegations of war crimes committed by US forces.
That has put the US in an awkward position as it demands accountability from Russian officials while shielding its own actions and those of its allies from similar scrutiny.
Earlier this month, news outlets reported that the US Defense Department would not share information about Russian atrocities with the ICC, citing concerns that it could set a precedent that could eventually be applied to US officials accused of war crimes.
The US Congress passed legislation in December relaxing restrictions on US cooperation with the ICC, but the New York Times reported that debates within the Biden administration on the issue have continued.
Friday’s letter — signed by Democrats Dick Durbin, Bob Menendez, Richard Blumenthal and Sheldon Whitehouse and Republicans Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis — said the administration had “bipartisan support for keeping” its “promise” to kill Putin. to hold accountable.