The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for war crimes, saying he bore criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children.
Ukrainian officials and human-rights groups hailed the warrant as an important step in holding Moscow to account for abuses during its yearlong war. The country’s president, Volodymyr Zelensky, said the warrant represented the beginning of “historical responsibility.”
The likelihood of a trial while Mr. Putin remains in power appears slim because the court cannot try defendants in absentia and Russia has said it will not surrender its own officials. Still, the warrant deepens Mr. Putin’s isolation from the West and could limit his travel overseas.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, noted that Russia does not recognize the court and called its decision to issue a warrant “null and void.”
Asked about the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, President Biden said Friday, “I think it’s justified.” He noted that the I.C.C. is not recognized by the United States, but said the warrant “makes a very strong point.” Putin has “clearly committed war crimes,” Biden added, speaking to reporters at the White House as he boarded Marine One to head to his house in Delaware for the weekend.
The court says that Mr. Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the abduction and deportation of Ukrainian children since Russia’s full-scale invasion began in February last year. The court also issued a warrant for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, who has been the public face of a Kremlin-sponsored program in which Ukrainian children and teenagers have been taken to Russia.
The court said in a statement “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that each suspect bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of population and that of unlawful transfer of population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.”