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Russia says United States is being hypocritical over ICC and Israel

April 30, 2024 at 2:53 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a meeting via video link with members of the government in Moscow, Russia on 04 April, 2024 [Kremlin Press Office/Anadolu Agency]

Russia said, on Tuesday, that the United States was being hypocritical by opposing the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) investigation of Israel but supporting the Court’s warrant for the arrest of President Vladimir Putin, Reuters reports.

The ICC – which can charge individuals with war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide – is investigating Hamas’s 7 October cross-border attack and Israel’s devastating military assault on Gaza, now in its seventh month.

White House spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, said on Monday the United States did not support the ICC’s investigation of Israel and did not believe that the Court had jurisdiction.

US President Joe Biden said last year that the ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin was justified. The United States has shared details of alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine with the ICC.

Russia says the warrant against Putin is a meaningless attempt by the West to soil Russia’s reputation and denies war crimes in Ukraine. Ukraine says Russia committed war crimes. Russia says the West has ignored Ukraine’s crimes, a charge denied by Kyiv.

READ: US ‘does not support’ ICC probe into Israel

“Washington fully supported, if not stimulated, the issuance of ICC warrants against the Russian leadership,” Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, said in a post on Telegram.

But “the American political system does not recognise the legitimacy of this structure in relation to itself and its satellites,” Zakharova said, adding that such a position was intellectually “absurd”.

The Kremlin has called the issuing of the warrant against Putin outrageous and legally void, as Russia is not a signatory to the treaty that created the ICC.

Israel is not a member of the ICC, while the Palestinian Territories were admitted as a member state in 2015.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Friday that any ICC decisions would not affect Israel’s actions but would set a dangerous precedent.

Israeli officials are worried that the Court could issue arrest warrants against Netanyahu and other top officials for alleged violations of international humanitarian law in Gaza, Israeli media have reported.

They said the ICC is also considering arrest warrants for leaders from Hamas.

READ: Report: 124 countries will be poised to arrest Netanyahu if ICC issues arrest warrant