Putin’s arrest warrant could cost him access to other leaders

Putin’s arrest warrant could cost him access to other leaders

AMSTERDAM: Vladimir Putin may not see the inside of a cell in the Hague, but his arrest warrant could hurt his ability to travel freely and meet other world leaders, who may feel less inclined to speak to a wanted man.

Putin is just the third head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court while still in power. What are the consequences for the Kremlin leader?

The International Criminal Court accuses Putin of committing a war crime of deporting Ukrainian children to Russia, and at least hundreds, possibly more.

The Russian foreign minister said ICC decisions have no meaning for our country and the ICC's 123 member states are obliged to detain and transfer Putin if he sets foot on their territory. Russia is not a member, nor are China, the United States, or India, which is hosting a summit later this year of leaders of the G 20 group of big economies, including Russia.

The Rome Statute created the world's permanent war crimes court, which is ratified by all the EU states, as well as Australia, Brazil, Britain, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, 33 African countries and 19 nations in the South Pacific.

Russia signed the Rome Statute in 2000 but withdrew its backing in 2016 after the ICC classified Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea Peninsula as an armed conflict.

Putin is not stupid. Assistant professor of history at the Utrecht University Iva Vukusic said he is not going to travel abroad to a country where he might be arrested.

He will not be able to travel much anywhere other than the countries that are either clearly allies or at least somewhat aligned with Russia, Vukusic said.