Russia has added International Criminal Court (ICC) President Pyotr Yosef Hoffmansky to its list of wanted men, a few months after the court accused President Vladimir Putin of illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia.
Hofmansky, his deputy, Luz del Carmen Ibáñez Carranza, and Judge Bertram Schmitt "are wanted under the Criminal Code," the independent Russian news agency MediaZona reported Monday, citing the Russian Interior Ministry's online database.
Putin and his commissioner for children, Maria Lvova-Belova, have been charged by the ICC for illegally deporting children from Ukraine to Russia. All ICC states are legally obliged to arrest Putin if he sets foot on their territory. Russia has argued that the ICC arrest warrant, issued on 17 March, is legally invalid as it is not a member state. At the end of July, Russia placed ICC Judge Tomoko Akane on its list of wanted persons. ICC prosecutor Karim Khan was added to the list of wanted persons in May.
In March, the ICC Pre-Trial Chamber issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Children's Commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. The court accuses them, among other things, of allegedly 'deporting' children whom the authorities rescued from Ukrainian shelling and took from the combat zone to safe areas.
A few days later, the Commission of Inquiry opened a criminal case against ICC judges Tomoko Akane, Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez and prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan. The first three were charged with knowingly unlawfully detaining and preparing an attack against a representative of a foreign state, while the prosecutor was charged with knowingly charging an innocent person with criminal liability, in conjunction with unlawfully charging a person with the commission of a serious or particularly serious crime. In May, the chairman of the Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrikin, said the agency would put on the wanted list the ICC judges who issued the warrant for Putin's "arrest".
The Russian leader's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov , said that raising the issue of the ICC's "arrest of Putin" is unacceptable. Moscow does not recognise the jurisdiction of the court and any decision of the court is legally invalid. Security Council Deputy President Dmitry Medvedev, in turn, noted that issuing a warrant creates huge negative potential and could have consequences in the form of a response from Russia.
Lavrov: Western disregard for global norms hinders the work of Russian consuls
Western countries are increasingly allowing themselves to openly disregard key aspects of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, obstructing the routine work of Russian consular outposts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in written remarks to participants at an international conference on modern trends in consular work under new geopolitical conditions.
The message of the top diplomat's greetings was read by Vladimir Zapevalov, head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's Delegation Office in St. Petersburg.
"Unfortunately, the time-tested normative basis of consular relations is nowadays being intensively eroded. Western countries are increasingly allowing themselves to arbitrarily interpret or even openly ignore the founding elements of the Convention, the indivisible part of modern international law. This concerns, among other things, ensuring the inviolability of consular premises, the right of consular officials to visit their country's nationals in detention or preventing ethnic discrimination," the leading Russian diplomat noted. "The West's destructive policy prevents the full implementation of one of the most important consular functions - protecting the interests of compatriots in the host state," he added.
Lavrov stressed that the Russian side is acting on the premise that the provisions of the Vienna Convention "must be fully implemented" even under the current international conditions.