Will Vladimir Putin Be Arrested in Kyrgyzstan?
President Vladimir Putin has stepped foot outside Russia, in Kyrgyzstan, for the first time since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for him in March 2023. He is in the Central Asian country for the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) summit, which will also be attended by leaders of Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Sadyr Japarov, the President of Kyrgyzstan, held talks with Putin in the Ala Archa State Residence in Bishkek. Both countries are set to strengthen bilateral relations in the political, trade and economic, military and technical, cultural and humanitarian spheres, among others.
Putin, who is on a two-day visit to Kyrgyzstan, will also talk with other regional leaders.
Arrest Warrant for Vladimir Putin
With Kyrgyzstan being a signatory to the ICC, it’s to be seen whether the Russia’s Putin will be arrested. Putin had skipped the BRICS summit in South Africa, also a member of ICC, in July because of speculations that he would be arrested for war crimes committed in Ukraine by Russia.
The Central Asian country is a member of ICC, but it has not ratified its founding treaty known as the Rome Statute. Russia and Ukraine are also non-state parties to the Rome Statute that gives the International Criminal Court its power.
Ukraine had made a limited declaration to accept the ICC’s jurisdiction in 2014 over crimes committed on its territory. Despite Russia not agreeing to the jurisdiction, the court has authority to prosecute Russians suspected of committing war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide on Ukrainian territory. Moreover, Russia has not agreed to any aspect of the ICC’s jurisdiction. As such, it may not be possible for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Russia.
It should also be noted that the ICC doesn’t have the resources to pursue everyone who has committed a crime.
Vladimir Putin On International Tour
After staying put in Russia since February 2022, Putin is stretching his legs. He is expected to visit China next week for the Belt and Road Forum. And there may be other visits planned or in the pipeline before the year runs out.
Meanwhile, Russia is still on with its special operation in Ukraine