Serbian president criticizes ICC arrest warrant for Putin

Belgrade, Serbia — Issuing an international arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin will have negative consequences and will only prolong the war in Ukraine, the Serbian president said on Sunday.

The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for the Russian leader on Friday, accusing him of war crimes. The ICC holds him personally responsible for the abduction of Ukrainian children during Russia’s all-out invasion of the neighboring country that began nearly 13 months ago.

But Serbia’s populist President Aleksandar Vucic, who has boasted about his personal relationship with the Russian leader, criticized the court’s decision.

Vucic told reporters in Belgrade: “I think that issuing an arrest warrant for Putin, without going into the legal issues, will have bad political consequences and it shows that there is an immunity. great reluctance to talk about peace (and) about the truce” in Ukraine.

“My question now is that you have accused him of the greatest war crime, who are you going to talk to now?” Vuvic said.

“Do you really think it is possible to beat Russia in a month, three months or a year?” he asked and added: “There is no doubt that the goal of these doers is to make it difficult for Putin to communicate, so that everyone who speaks to him knows that he is forced to war crimes criminals.”

Asked if Putin would be arrested if he went to Serbia, Vucic said it was “a pointless question, because it is clear that as long as the conflict (in Ukraine) continues, Putin will have nowhere to go.” Go.”

Although Serbia is seeking European Union membership, it maintains close ties with Russia and is the only European country that has refused to join international sanctions against Moscow. .

Vucic, a staunch opponent of international war crimes courts, is a senior official of a radical nationalist party whose leader Vojislav Seselj and several other members have been brought to trial. international war criminals to try the crimes they committed during the wars of the 1990s.

In the late 1990s, Vucic was the information minister in the government of Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic during the war in Kosovo, where the Serbian army was accused of many war crimes against Albanian separatists in Kosovo.

Milosevic was arrested in Serbia on charges of war crimes in 2001. He died at the international war crimes tribunal in The Hague in 2006 before his trial for crimes committed by the Serbian army. during the wars in the Balkans in the 1990s ended.


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