Russian Investigative Committee Chairman seeks legal assessment of German minister’s arrest statement regarding Putin and Children’s Rights Commissioner in Germany


19th March 2023 – (Moscow) Germany’s Justice Minister, Marco Buschmann, has stated that Germany would be obliged to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he were to enter German territory, following the recent issuance of an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The ICC issued the warrant on 17th March, making Putin the third incumbent state leader to be issued with an ICC arrest warrant. The warrant was also issued for Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s children’s rights commissioner, who oversees the forced deportations of Ukrainian children.

The ICC’s decision means that 123 countries that are members of the ICC would be obligated to arrest Putin and send him to The Hague if he enters their territory. The arrest warrant was issued on the basis that there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that Putin is directly responsible for overseeing the forced kidnapping and relocation of over 16,000 Ukrainian children since the start of the full-scale invasion, a number that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky suggests may be even higher.

Russian forces have been found to have unlawfully transferred or deported thousands of Ukrainian civilians to Russia, which is a violation of the Geneva Conventions. The National Information Bureau of Ukraine has reported that Russia has abducted over 16,000 Ukrainian children, with only 125 of them having been returned to Ukraine.

In response to Buschmann’s statement, Chairman of the Russian Investigative Committee, Alexander Bastrykin, has requested a legal assessment of the German Justice Minister’s statements regarding the arrest of the two Russian citizens on German territory, calling the ICC’s requirement to do so unlawful.