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Updated March 19th, 2023 at 17:45 IST

'If Putin comes to Germany, he will be arrested', says German Justice Minister

German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann warned that if Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the territory of Germany, then he will be arrested.

Putin
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German Justice Minister Marco Buschmann warned that if Russian President Vladimir Putin enters the territory of Germany, then he will be arrested. The German Justice Minister gave out this remark after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against the Russian president for committing war crimes in the midst of the Russia-Ukraine war. According to German news outlet Die Zeit, the German diplomat made it clear that Berlin will abide by the rules of the International Criminal Court and execute the warrant if Putin sets foot on German soil. Earlier today, the Russian President visited Russian-occupied Mariupol, days after the warrant was issued. 

"Then Germany will be obliged to arrest President Putin if he enters German territory and hand him over to the International Criminal Court," Buschmann told the German newspaper. “I expect the ICC to quickly contact Interpol as well as participating States and ask them to comply with the demand. Germany will then be obliged to arrest President Putin when he enters German territory and hand him over to the ICC,” he added. Emphasising the gravity of the situation, the German diplomat asserted that, unlike national law enforcement agencies, the International Criminal Court can take action against the head of the state. The German Justice Minister asserted that on Putin’s arrival on German soil, the International court will turn into an Interpol and demand the execution of the arrest warrant in the contracting state. In December 2000, Germany ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court making it part of the contracting nation. 

As the threat of an arrest warrant looms, Putin visits Mariupol 

It was on March 17 when the Pre-Trial Chamber II of the International Criminal Court issued the arrest warrant against the Russian president. Few days after the warrant was issued, on Sunday the Russian president visited the Ukrainian city of Mariupol. The city located in the greater region of Donstek was occupied by the Russian forces after the war broke out. According to CNN, the Russian president was flown into Mariupol by helicopter and toured the whole city in a car. In a statement released by the Kremlin, it was also asserted that the Russian president stopped to meet residents in the city’s Nevsky neighbourhood. The statement claimed that the Russian president was invited inside a resident’s home. 

The visit by the Russian president to the conflict zone is touted as the Russia's way of showing their prowess to the Ukrainian bloc. The Kremlin also asserted that during his visit, the Russian president examined the coastline of Mariupol and visited the yacht club and theatre building. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Marat Khusnullin stated that the Russian president visited the region to oversee the “ongoing construction and restoration work”. According to CNN, the Russian president also held a meeting at the command post for a “special military operation in Rostov-on-Don”. Overall, Russia does not recognize the ICC arrest warrant since it did not ratify the Rome statute of the ICC. However, the threat of Putin’s arrest remains in countries which recognise the international court. 

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Published March 19th, 2023 at 17:45 IST

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