Russian Official Sought by ICC For War Crimes to Speak at UN

Wed Apr 05 2023
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UNITED NATION: Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, who is being sought for war crimes, would brief the controversial United Nations (UN) meeting that Russia called to counter what it claims is wrong information about Ukrainian children taken to Russia.


Russia’s United Nations Mission confirmed on Tuesday that Maria Lvova-Belova would be the lead speaker, by video link, to the informal meeting of the Security Council has sparked opposition from Ukraine’s supporters.


Earlier, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued arrest warrants the previous month for her and Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, over their suspected involvement in the illegal deportation and transfer of children from occupied places of Ukraine to Russia.


The United Kingdom said that it had blocked the outside broadcast of the meeting in protest and won’t send an ambassador. The United States mission said it wouldn’t send its ambassador, either.


United Kingdom deputy ambassador James Kariuki said that “The fact they are inviting someone indicted by the International Criminal Court speaks for itself,”


ICC headquarter Hague


Later, the United Kingdom mission added, “If she wants to give the account of her actions, she could do so in The Hague,” the Netherlands city where the International Criminal Court has its headquarters.


The Associated Press (AP) reported on Lvova-Belova’s involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian orphans in October, in the initial investigation to follow the abduction process to Russia, relying on dozens of interviews and documents.


It found that the honest effort to put children of Ukraine up for adoption in Russia was well underway. Ukrainian officials claimed that nearly 8,000 children had been deported to Russia then, but the exact number was hard to determine.


When it announced the warrants on 17 March, the International Criminal Court alleged Putin and Lvova-Belova were responsible for the war crime of illegal deportation and transfer of children from occupied places of Ukraine into Russia.


Their chances of facing the trial are remote as Moscow doesn’t recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov at the time called the International Criminal Court action “legally void” and “outrageous and unacceptable”.

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