Ireland govt threatens to arrest Putin if he visits the country.

Ireland will arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes in the unlikely event he sets foot in Ireland, the Department of Justice has confirmed.

This comes as Justice Minister Simon Harris announced €1 million in funding for International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutors to help them investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Ireland can also provide gardaí, forensic science experts and other legal professionals to assist in the investigation.

Last week, the ICC announced arrest warrants for Putin and his children’s rights commissioner, Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, on charges related to the forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia. The forced transfer of children was qualified as a war crime by the Rome Convention that created the ICC in 1998.

A photo file of Russian President Putin

As a signatory to the Rome Statute, Ireland is legally responsible for implementing the decisions of the ICC, which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands.

“As in all cases, if Ireland receives a request to arrest and surrender a person who has been issued an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court, the request will be processed in accordance with the 2006 law on the ICC. ,” a spokesman for the Department of Justice told the Irish Times.

There are various reasons why such an event is highly unlikely, including the fact that Putin is more likely to set foot in a country that recognizes the jurisdiction of the ICC.

Russia previously signed the Rome Statute but never ratified it and withdrew its signature in 2016. Although still a signatory, Russia does not extradite its own citizens.

However, the arrest warrant serves a powerful symbolic purpose and sends a message to Russian officials that they are at risk of prosecution if they travel abroad.

It also opens the possibility – albeit remote – that the future leader of Russia will return Putin to The Hague.

On Monday, Mr Harris attended a meeting of justice ministers in London “to support the International Criminal Court’s efforts to hold Russia accountable for war crimes in Ukraine”.

He announced funding of 1 million Euros for the ICC Prosecutor’s Office and 2 million Euros for the ICC trust fund to support victims of war crimes. This makes Ireland one of the main sources of funding for the ICC among EU countries.

Ireland was part of the main group of 43 countries that referred the invasion of Ukraine to the ICC.

“Ireland has been steadfast in its condemnation of Russia’s unprovoked and unprovoked invasion as a serious violation of international law,” Mr Harris said. “We are committed to promoting accountability for violations of international law, including international crimes, stemming from Russia’s aggression in Ukraine.”

Also on Monday, Ukrainian President Zelenskiy had a 30-minute conversation with Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in which he thanked Ireland for its efforts to secure charges against Russian officials.

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