Ukrainian officials have said the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) arrest warrant that was issued last week for Russian President Vladimir Putin has made negotiations with the Russian leader impossible.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, wrote on Twitter after the warrant was issued that now that labeling Putin “an obvious international criminal directly means there will be no negotiations with the current Russian elite.”
Other Ukrainian officials told POLITICO that peace talks are hard to imagine now that the warrant was issued over allegations that Russia is forcibly deporting Ukrainian children. Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba pointed to the fact that the Ukrainian government previously ruled out negotiating with Putin, although Zelensky later softened on the position slightly.
“We knew long before the ICC arrest warrant that talking to Putin made no sense. Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council adopted a legal resolution on September 30 of last year declaring that any negotiations with Vladimir Putin were impossible in response to Russia’s attempted annexation of additional Ukrainian territories,” Kuleba said.
The ICC warrant was issued a few days before Chinese President Xi Jinping traveled to Moscow after Beijing released a potential 12-point peace plan for Ukraine. After talks on Tuesday, Putin said he welcomed the Chinese proposals, and Xi is expected to speak with Zelensky soon.
The Biden administration has rejected Beijing’s efforts for peace and has come out against a ceasefire in Ukraine. The US also supports the arrest warrant for Putin even though, like the US, Russia is not a party to the ICC. The administration has previously rejected ICC efforts to investigate non-member states.
In 2021, when the ICC opened an investigation into Israeli war crimes against Palestinians, Secretary of State Antony Blinken strongly condemned the move. ” The United States firmly opposes and is deeply disappointed by this decision,” Blinken said in a statement. “The ICC has no jurisdiction over this matter. Israel is not a party to the ICC and has not consented to the Court’s jurisdiction, and we have serious concerns about the ICC’s attempts to exercise its jurisdiction over Israeli personnel.”