The International Criminal Court’s (ICC) issuance of an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin for war crimes in Ukraine on Friday was a “very important” decision, French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said in an interview to be published on Sunday.
• Read more: War in Ukraine: Why an arrest warrant against Putin won’t change anything
• Read more: Prior to Vladimir Putin, previous heads of state were sought by the ICC
“This decision is very important because anyone responsible for war crimes or crimes against humanity must be held accountable, regardless of their rank or status,” the French diplomatic chief said in an interview with a Sunday newspaper. .
“No link in the chain can now think they will escape justice, which will lead many to reflect,” he continues, “so this is a decision that could change the course of events.”
The decision by the ICC, which sits in The Hague, found thousands of Ukrainian children “deported” to Russia since the conflict with Ukraine began a year ago, a war crime.
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called it “historic,” Moscow derided it as “null and void” because Russia is not a member of the ICC and therefore does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
“France supports the court, as it helps Ukrainian justice by sending special teams to document abuses or identify victims”, commented Catherine Colonna.
Asked about the delivery of 13 MiG-29 fighter jets by Slovakia and 4 other fighter jets by Poland this week, the French foreign minister replied, “Anything that helps Ukraine is useful.”
“Countries with Soviet materials already known to Ukrainians were able to make this decision. (…) To counter (a Russian attack), Ukraine will have to resist with the means it has now,” he added.
“In principle, the president and the minister of the armed forces have said it, there is no ban,” the French diplomatic chief reiterated regarding the future supply of advanced fighter jets by France.