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Russia says ICC’s arrest warrant for Shoigu is part of ‘hybrid war’

By Thomson Reuters Jun 25, 2024 | 7:49 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia’s Security Council said on Tuesday that the International Criminal Court’s arrest warrant for former defence minister Sergei Shoigu was legally meaningless and part of a hybrid war against Moscow, state news agency TASS reported.

The ICC issued arrest warrants for Shoigu, who is now secretary of the Security Council, and for Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s General Staff, for alleged crimes committed during what Moscow calls its special military operation in Ukraine.

The Hague-based court said Shoigu and Gerasimov were suspected of having committed war crimes and crimes against humanity for directing attacks against civilians and civilian objects in Ukraine.

TASS quoted Russia’s Security Council as saying the move was pointless.

“This is just shooting the breeze, since the jurisdiction of the ICC does not extend to Russia, and (the decision) was made as part of the hybrid war of the West against our country,” it quoted the council as saying.

The ICC last year issued arrest warrants against President Vladimir Putin and his children’s commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova, which the Kremlin said at the time were outrageous and legally void.

The move has, however, limited the number of countries to which Putin can safely travel. Last year he skipped a summit of the BRICS group in South Africa, which as a member of the ICC would have been obliged to arrest him if he had travelled there.

(Reporting by Reuters; writing by Mark Trevelyan; Editing by Andrew Osborn)