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Hungary would not arrest Putin despite ICC ruling – official

Hungary would not arrest Putin despite ICC ruling – official

Hungary’s government has stated that they will not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he enters the country, despite there being an international arrest warrant against him, Reuters reported.

This comes after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against Putin for illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine, accusing him of individual criminal responsibility. According to the warrant, countries that are party to the Rome Statute, such as Hungary, are obliged to arrest Putin if he steps on their soil.

However, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff, Gergely Gulyas, stated that Hungary would not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he entered the country, as there would be no legal grounds to do so.

Gulyas pointed out that the Rome Statute that created the ICC had not been promulgated in Hungary. “We can refer to the Hungarian law and based on that we cannot arrest the Russian President,” he said.

When asked, he said the government “had not formed a stance” on the arrest warrant, but added that such decisions are “not the most fortunate as they take things towards further escalation and not towards peace, this is my personal subjective opinion.”

On 21 March, Hungary blocked EU member states’ from issuing a joint statement about the said arrest warrant against Putin.

This comes on the heels of South Africa’s unclear position on whether it would arrest Putin, who is scheduled to attend a Brics summit in August.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, for their alleged involvement in deporting Ukrainian children, which are considered serious crimes under the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

The 123 member states that have ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, one of which is Hungary, must immediately take action upon receiving an arrest warrant request for a person affiliated with the state party. This implies that Putin may fear traveling abroad, as he may be arrested and prosecuted in any of these countries.

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