Russian President Vladimir Putin will not visit India for the upcoming G20 summit in India. The news comes at a time as Putin risks of getting arrested after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant against him over war crimes allegations in Ukraine.
Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov confirmed to Russia’s state-owned TASS news agency on Friday that President Putin will not make an in-person visit to India for G20 summit that will be held in New Delhi on September 19 and 20.
ICC’s arrest warrant
On 17 March, ICC issued the arrest warrant against President Putin for the “deportation of population (children) and that of unlawful transfer of population (children) from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation”.
“The crimes were allegedly committed in Ukrainian occupied territory at least from 24 February 2022. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Mr Putin bears individual criminal responsibility … for his failure to exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control, pursuant to superior responsibility (article 28(b) of the Rome Statute),” ICC said in a statement at the time.
Is India an ICC signatory?
President Putin had not visited South Africa for BRICS Summit this month and attended the meeting through a video call. While being an ICC signatory, South Africa would have helped in Putin’s arrest if he visited the country; India has never signed its core treaty, the ‘Rome Statute’. India is also not a member state of the ICC.
India has previously hosted individuals that face action from the ICC, including Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who had arrest warrant against him from the Hague-based international tribunal over charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in connection with the Darfur conflict.
Announcement comes after Putin condoles Wagner chief’s death
On Thursday, President Putin condoled the death of Wagner mercenary group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin, who died in a plane crash in Moscow on Wednesday night.
“Prigozhin was a man with a complex fate, and he made serious mistakes in his life. And he achieved the results he needed, both for himself and, when I asked him, for the common cause,” President Putin said on Thursday.
Often regarded as the Russian president’s close aide, Prigozhin commanded units of the private military company to advance towards Moscow, urging for an armed uprising to topple the leadership of Russia’s military. Consequently, Wagner fighters took over main military sites in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don, which is an important command and logistical hub for the Russian army and its invasion of Ukraine.
Following this, President Putin vowed of brutal implications for Prigozhin’s “betrayal” and “treason”. However, Kremlin spokesman Peskov later announced that the Wagner chief agreed to a deal to go to Belarus, Russia’s neighbouring country that supported Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.