He assured that the ICC accusations of the Russian president are "justified"

Biden accuses Putin of "war crimes" in Ukraine

Biden and Putin during a previous meeting in Geneva. Archival

International reactions to the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court against Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges of the war crime of illegally deporting children from Ukraine continued, with US President Joe Biden saying that "Russian President Vladimir Putin clearly committed war crimes, and the decision of the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant against him is justified."

"It's clear that he committed war crimes," Biden told reporters, adding in reference to the arrest warrant: "I think that's justified."

The State Department said in a statement that the United States had separately concluded that Russian forces had committed war crimes in Ukraine and supported accountability for war crimes.

"There is no doubt that Russia is committing war crimes and atrocities in Ukraine, and we have made clear that those responsible must be held accountable. This decision was reached independently by the ICC prosecutor based on the facts before him."

The ICC's action obliges the court's 123 member states to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot on their territory. The court also issued an arrest warrant for Russian Commissioner for Children's Rights Maria Lvova Belova on the same charges.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz yesterday welcomed the ICC's decision, saying that "the decision shows that no one is above the law."

Speaking at a joint press conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, he said: "The ICC is the right institution to investigate war crimes. The truth is that no one is above the law and that's what is now clear."

The head of Russia's Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrikin, ordered an investigation into the International Criminal Court's issuance of an arrest warrant for Putin.

According to a statement by the investigative committee, quoted by TASS news agency, the head of the committee tasked the central body of the commission with conducting an investigation into the issuance of illegal arrest warrants against Russian citizens by the International Criminal Court.

The statement noted that the Commission of Inquiry will identify the persons from the judges of the International Criminal Court who made the said decision.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov described the accusations made by the International Criminal Court against the Russian president as "outrageous and unacceptable," stressing after the decision that Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, and therefore any such decisions are legally null and void for the Russian Federation.

Asked if Putin was now afraid to travel to countries that recognize the court's jurisdiction and may therefore try to arrest him, Peskov told reporters: "I have nothing to add on this subject. That's all we want to say."

For his part, the speaker of the Russian parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, said on Telegram: "Americans, hands off Putin!" , calling the move "evidence of Western hysteria."

"We consider any attack on the president of Russia as aggression against our country."

Putin visited Crimea yesterday on the ninth anniversary of its annexation to Russia, Russian state television announced.

• Scholz welcomes the decision. He asserts that no one is above the law.

• Putin visits Crimea on the anniversary of its annexation to Russia.