Peskov denied Russia’s possible involvement in war crimes in Ukraine

The Russian side rejects all assumptions about involvement in war crimes in Ukraine, said the press secretary of the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Peskov. Thus, he commented on the words of the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan, who intends to initiate an investigation into the situation in Ukraine.

“We categorically reject this, and then Russia is not a member of the International Criminal Court,” Peskov said.

Earlier today, Khan announced that the ICC intends to “as soon as possible” begin an investigation into violations recorded on the territory of Ukraine. The prosecutor explained that he had studied the available data and was convinced that there were weighty grounds for starting an investigation. In view of the expansion of the conflict, he also announced his intention to include in the investigation process all new possible crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the ICC, which were committed by any party to the conflict.

Ukraine is not a member of the ICC, but has previously filed two applications, recognizing the court’s jurisdiction over possible crimes committed on the territory of the country since November 21, 2013. In 2016, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree according to which the country will not become a member of the ICC. Peskov explained this decision by “national interests”, since the wording of the ICC “contradicts reality, contradicts our position.”

The International Criminal Court (ICC) is the court of last resort for serious international crimes, including genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. It was established by the Rome Statute, signed in 1998. The Court is mandated to judge individuals, not states. It is independent of the UN.

Russia launched a special military operation in Ukraine on February 24. Its stated goal is to protect the inhabitants of Donbass, who are “subjected to bullying, genocide by the Kiev regime,” Vladimir Putin said. At the same time, he noted that Russia has no plans to occupy Ukraine, but Moscow will strive for the demilitarization and denazification of this country.

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