Hungary Blocks Joint EU Statement on Putin's Arrest Warrant in Hague

Monday, 20 March 2023

Hungary has blocked a joint statement by the European Union member states on the issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin by the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Due to Budapest's veto, the EU's chief diplomat, Josep Borrell, issued a statement on his own behalf, in which he "took note of the decision of the International Criminal Court".

"The EU sees the decision by the ICC as a beginning of the process of accountability and holding Russian leaders to account for the crimes and atrocities they are ordering, enabling or committing in Ukraine," Borrell said in the statement published on Sunday evening.

In addition, on Monday, EU justice ministers issued their own statement in support of the International Criminal Court's decision, which Hungary, again, did not sign.

It is expected that the arrest warrant for the Russian president will also appear in the conclusions of the European Council meeting to be held on 23-24 March. The draft conclusions cited by Bloomberg use wording similar to Borrell's statement.

According to Bloomberg’s sources, the leaders of some states may insist on more onerous wording regarding the decision of the International Criminal Court.

On Friday, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, who is the Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children's Rights.

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