ICC takes aim at Lukashenko



On September 14, the so-called «field office» of the International Criminal Court (ICC) was opened in Kiev.

«The law has to be at the forefront. And I think that what we see in the issues of the International Criminal Court’s partnership with Ukraine, the development of partnership with civil society, with other UN member states, state and non-state actors of the ICC, is not just a spark. It is the dawn of a new time in which we must show, and we are showing, endurance and perseverance to ensure that our words are not empty ones. They are felt by the victims both in Ukraine, where I have the honor to be right now, and around the world», ICC Chief Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan said ornately.

This is the same figure who on March 17 issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and children’s ombudsman Maria Lvova-Belova on unsubstantiated charges of «illegal deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia». Incidentally, the leader of Russia, which is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has become the third sitting head of State against whom this judicial body has issued such an absurd verdict. Previously, this was done to Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.

«This is a new chapter of our cooperation. The work of the office will help strengthen cooperation between Ukraine and the International Criminal Court. It will increase the efficiency and promptness of response to the crimes that Russia continues to commit against Ukraine and Ukrainians on a daily basis», a very satisfied Prosecutor-General of Ukraine Andrey Kostin said.

As was emphasized in the press release of his office, the Kiev office is the largest representation of the ICC outside the Hague.

For information: before that, the ICC had seven foreign missions: in Kinshasa and Bunia (Democratic Republic of Congo), Kampala (Uganda), Bangui (Central African Republic), Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire), Tbilisi (Georgia) and Bamako (Mali). He also has a liaison office in New York.

In his traditional evening televised address to fellow citizens, President Zelensky expressed confidence that «close cooperation between the office of the Prosecutor General, all Ukrainian law enforcement institutions and the International Criminal Court will help bring accountability for war crimes committed by Russia closer».

It is not superfluous to recall that the Russian Investigative Committee has opened a criminal case against the persons involved in the «legally insignificant» verdict — prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan and judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala and Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez. And declared them on an international wanted list.

I recall that the ICC is based on the provisions of the Rome Statute of 1998. It has been ratified by 123 countries. On September 13, Armenian President Nikol Pashinyan announced about the imminent ratification of the Statute in full. Russia signed the document in 2000 and withdrew from the treaty in 2016.

But this is not all the Hague intrigues that people in robes are capable of, because the ICC continues to be actively used by Russia’s enemies. Thus, the European Parliament called on this judicial body to issue an arrest warrant for… Belarusian leader Alexandr Lukashenko. In the resolution approved by MEPs on September 13, he is named as an accomplice in «the forced removal of more than 2,150 children, including orphans, from the Russian-occupied regions of Ukraine to the so-called health camps in Belarus, where they are subjected to Russification and ideological processing».

It also condemns «the Lukashenko regime’s participation in Russia’s unjustified, illegal and unprovoked war of aggression against Ukraine; supplying Russian troops with weapons and military equipment, producing components for the Russian army, stationing Russian troops in the country and training them by Belarusian instructors; and threatening to join Russian aggression combined with the deployment of troops near the Ukrainian border, which binds Ukrainian troops there».

The European Parliament called on the EU institutions and EU states to take all measures necessary to «ensure the criminal prosecution of Belarusian officials who are complicit in crimes of aggression, war crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes of genocide committed against Ukraine».

Such a murderous cocktail of unprofessionalism and malice!

…And for dessert — the star of the international arena, the head of the German Foreign Ministry, the incomparable Annalena Baerbock: «Under the current international law, that is, according to the rules of the ICC, only heads of state and government of countries that have ratified the Kampala amendments to the Rome Statute (adopted in 2010 at a conference in the capital of Uganda — Kampala) can be convicted of criminal aggression. Russia has not done so, so no charges can be brought against Putin. This is important to change, but it requires a majority of the countries party to the agreement, which I am actively seeking».