March 28, 2023

Friday’s issuance by the International Criminal Court (ICC) of an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine is an “extremely important” decision, says French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna in an interview to be published on Sunday. .

• Read also: War in Ukraine: why the arrest warrant against Putin will not change anything

• Read also: Before Vladimir Putin, the previous heads of state wanted by the ICC

• Read also: Arrest warrant issued for Russian President Vladimir Putin

“This decision is extremely important, because it means that anyone responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity will have to be held accountable, regardless of their status or rank,” said the head of French diplomacy in an interview with Sunday newspaper, a weekly.

“No link in the chain can now think that they will escape justice and this should lead many to reflect”, she continues, “so it is a decision which can change the course of events”.

The decision by the ICC, which sits in The Hague, concerns the “deportation” of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia since the start of the conflict with Ukraine a year ago, which constitutes a war crime.

While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “historic”, Moscow derided it as “null and void”, because Russia is not a member of the ICC and therefore does not recognize the jurisdiction of this court, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

“France supports the Court, just as it helps Ukrainian justice by sending specialized teams on the spot to document the abuses or identify the victims”, commented Catherine Colonna.

Asked about the deliveries of 13 MiG-29 fighters by Slovakia and 4 others by Poland announced this week, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs replied that “everything that helps Ukraine is useful”.

“Countries that have Soviet materials that Ukrainians already know were able to make this decision. (…) To counter (the Russian offensive), Ukraine must be able to resist with the means available now”, she added.

As for the future delivery of more advanced combat aircraft by France, “in principle, the President of the Republic and the Minister for the Armed Forces have said it, there is no taboo”, repeated the chief of French diplomacy.

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