Pelosi voices support for International Criminal Court's arrest warrant for Russian President Putin

March 24, 2023
Ben Marquis

For valid and justifiable reasons, the United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court, but that doesn't stop some U.S. politicians from openly endorsing and supporting the actions of that purportedly independent global judicial body.

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) signaled her support on Thursday for the ICC and the arrest warrant it issued last week for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Washington Examiner reported.

Pelosi says Putin committed "crimes against nature"

While speaking at an event at the Capitol building with European lawmakers, Rep. Pelosi said, "It's imperative that our global community works together to hold Putin accountable."

"I'm encouraged by the International Criminal Court's decision to put a warrant [out for] Putin's arrest," she continued, according to the Examiner. "He must answer for the blatant disregard for [Ukraine's] sovereignty and for territorial integrity."

"This raping of women in front of their parents, in front of their children; kidnapping children -- taking them closer to Alaska than Ukraine, some of them so young they have no idea of [their] name, address, and nationality -- these are crimes against nature," the congresswoman explained.

Pelosi added, "It's really important that ... we hold Vladimir Putin responsible for those individual crimes."

Russia accused of countless "crimes against humanity" in Ukraine

The BBC reported last week that the International Criminal Court based in The Hague, Netherlands, had issued arrest warrants for Russian President Putin and another top Russian official over alleged war crimes committed in Ukraine, specifically the alleged forced deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia.

The warrants were issued on the heels of a report from a United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine that accused Russia of perpetrating hundreds, if not thousands, of prosecutable war crimes since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in Feb. 2022.

That includes the forced deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia that "violate international humanitarian law and amount to a war crime." Russia is also accused of committing countless rapes and murders of civilians, engaging in "widespread" torture, creating mass burial sites for dead civilians, and targeting civilian infrastructure like hospitals, power plants, and schools, among other alleged "crimes against humanity."

U.S., Russia, and Ukraine are not members of the ICC

According to a CNN report, however, it is highly unlikely that the ICC arrest warrants will ever be served, and even more unlikely that a prosecution would ever occur, so long as Putin remains in power in Russia.

That is because Russia is not a member of the ICC after it withdrew from the treaty in 2016 amid prior accusations of war crimes committed in Crimea and a breakaway province of Georgia. The U.S. has never been a member of the ICC, either, as it has rightly balked at the court superseding national sovereignty and expressed concern that U.S. troops would be unjustifiably charged and prosecuted with alleged war crimes.

Interestingly enough, Ukraine is also not a member of the ICC, but CNN noted that it has acceded to the ICC's jurisdiction in the past and therefore could play host to international criminal proceedings against Putin or other Russian officials and soldiers charged with war crimes.

Biden said Putin's warrant is "justified"

Relatedly, just as Pelosi expressed her full support for the ICC's arrest warrant for Putin, despite the U.S. not being a member of the court, so too did President Joe Biden when asked about it last week by reporters.

Pressed for his "reaction" to the ICC warrant for Putin, Biden said, "Well, I think it’s justified. But the question is, it’s not recognized internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point."

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