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    NewsWorldPutin visited the annexed Crimean peninsula after the arrest warrant

    Putin visited the annexed Crimean peninsula after the arrest warrant

    Putin visited the annexed Crimean peninsula after the arrest warrant

    Photo: AFP.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea this Saturday on the ninth anniversary of Moscow’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula, and one day after the arrest warrant against him was issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC). before the accusation of deporting Ukrainian children in occupied territories.

    The Kremlin leader moved to the city of Sevastopol, with a port on the Black Sea, where he opened an art school for children, among other activities, as part of his first trip to Crimea since the start of the large-scale offensive. released in Ukraine on February 24, 2022.

    Russia annexed Crimea on March 18, 2014 after a referendum not recognized by Kiev or the international community, and last January Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelenski declared his intention to regain control of the peninsula with arms.

    This visit occurred one day after the arrest warrant was issued by the ICC, which accuses the Russian president of the alleged deportation of children in occupied areas of Ukraine, which constitutes a war crime.

    Despite the fact that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of that international court, prosecutor Karim Khan today was optimistic about trying the president.

    AFP photo
    Photo: AFP.

    “Those who believe it is impossible” for him to be held accountable “do not understand history,” Khan said in statements to CNN and asked to recall trials against war criminals such as the Nazis, former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic or former Liberian leader Charles Taylor, among others.

    “They were all strong and powerful individuals, and yet they found themselves in court,” the ICC chief prosecutor said.

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    Khan also pointed out that the arrest warrant against Putin and against Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights in Russia, wants to send a clear message: “No one should feel that they can commit genocide or crimes against humanity with impunity”.

    The court based in the Dutch city of The Hague yesterday issued an arrest warrant for “crimes that were allegedly committed in the occupied territory of Ukraine since at least February 24, 2022.”

    According to the ICC, Putin is “allegedly responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation of the population (of children) and the illegal transfer of the population (of children) from the occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”

    In new reactions to the arrest warrant, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz stressed today that “no one is above the law.”

    “The ICC is the right institution to investigate war crimes,” he said at a press conference in Tokyo that he held with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, according to statements quoted by the DPA news agency.

    In that act, Kishida declared that the arrest request is “the first concrete step” and added that his government will follow the investigation “with great interest.”

    The President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, today also showed his support for the international court’s decision: “No crime should go unpunished, no crime should go unpunished,” reported the Europa Press news agency.

    The court’s decision was supported by several leaders of Western powers, including US President Joe Biden, who assured that the arrest warrant is “justified.”

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    Although the North American country is not a member of the ICC either, he affirmed that the decision “sends a very strong signal.”

    On the contrary, the Kremlin minimized its impact: “Russia, like a certain number of States, does not recognize the jurisdiction of that court, and consequently, from the point of view of the law, the decisions of that court are null,” it declared yesterday. the Russian president’s spokesman, Dmitri Peskov.

    In tune, the spokeswoman for the Foreign Ministry, Maria Zajarova, said that “it is of no importance to Russia.”

    In the midst of these mixed reactions, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, announced that it was possible to extend the agreement on exports of Ukrainian grains and Russian fertilizers that expired today and that it is key to prevent the global food crisis from deepening.

    “As a result of our talks with both parties, we have achieved an extension of this agreement,” the president said in a speech in the western city of Çanakkale.

    During his speech, the Turkish leader did not specify the duration of the extension: Moscow asked for it to be for 60 days, while kyiv wanted it to be renewed for twice as long.

    In a later statement, Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov reported that the agreement was extended for 120 days.

    But from the Russian Foreign Ministry, Zajarova confirmed that Moscow maintained its position: “We see the messages about the extension of the pact for 120 days, we have said on more than one occasion that Russia notified all parties of the extension for 60 days.”

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    The spokesman for the UN Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric, confirmed that the pact “was prolonged”, but did not specify for how long.

    Ukraine and Russia together produce a third of the world’s wheat and their exports are also key in products such as corn and sunflower oil, so the blockade on exports due to the war affected food security, especially in developing countries. .

    In July 2022, the agreement between the UN, Ukraine, Russia and Turkey was signed that enabled the marketing of these cereals through the Black Sea, and that since then has allowed the sale of more than 24 million tons of food.

    In mid-November, and despite a previous decision by the Kremlin to temporarily withdraw from the agreement, it was extended for 120 days and expired today.

    Beyond the progress the pact allowed, both Russia and Ukraine have complained about the way it is being implemented.

    Weeks ago, the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry pointed out against the “destructive actions” of Russia, which “obstruct the agreement in general, maritime transport in the Black Sea and the free access of food to world markets.”

    For its part, Russia complains that its fertilizer exports are blocked, despite an agreement that works in tandem with that of Ukrainian grains, so that this product is not affected by the sanctions imposed by Western countries from the beginning. of the war on February 24.


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