Putin will face the fate of the largest war criminals in world history, and Russia will be completely isolated

On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin. He is accused of illegal deportation of Ukrainian children from the territory of Ukraine to Russia.

The ICC warrant is not a court verdict and not a physical arrest, but it is a legal and moral stigma that sharply narrows the space for political maneuver not only for the Russian president, but also for the leaders of the democratic world who are trying in every possible way to talk to him. This rules out the possibility for Western leaders to even shake hands with Putin or sign agreements with him.

Putin was actually transferred from the category of people with whom one could at least somehow try to negotiate, into the category of international criminals.

In a global sense, this is a signal from the West to anyone who proposes to negotiate with Putin on compromise options for ending the war in Ukraine. In particular, this is a signal to Putin himself that no one else wants to deal with him and no one will agree to “rigged games”. Now he is in the same category as other war criminals.

Vladimir Putin has become the third incumbent head of state in the history of the world for whom the ICC has issued an arrest warrant after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir.

From now on, Vladimir Putin will be very limited in his movement around the world. Under the terms of the Rome Statute, all Member States that have ratified it are required to cooperate with the ICC and hand over to it the person against for whom an arrest warrant has been issued. There are more than 120 such countries, the vast majority of countries in the world.

In fact, immunity as the head of state, and at the same time a nuclear one, has been lifted from Putin. Now the Russian leader will not be able to hide behind immunity to commit war crimes.

Also, the warrant for the arrest of the Russian leader is another signal to the Russian elites that even after the end of the war in Ukraine, Putin will not get away. Therefore, if the Russian elites want to resume relations with the West, then they need to remove Putin from the post of President of the Russian Federation and hand him over to The Hague, as the Serbs once did with Milosevic.

Russia will not be able to achieve the lifting of international sanctions without complying with the warrants of the International Criminal Court. It was previously stated that the sanctions could be lifted once the situation returned to at least the state before Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Therefore, even a return to the 1991 borders will not lead to consideration of the issue of lifting sanctions against Russia until the Russians extradite Putin to the international investigation.