the United States applauds while it does not recognize the ICC – RT in French
The Biden administration welcomed the arrest warrant issued by the ICC against the Russian president. Yet, not content with not acknowledging it, Washington has repeatedly threatened the ICC if it looks into US crimes.
In front of the press on March 17, US President Joe Biden considered “justified” the arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) against his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. A decision which, according to the tenant of the White House, sends “a very strong signal” to the Russian president who would have “clearly committed war crimes” in Ukraine.
“We are in favor of the perpetrators of war crimes being held accountable for their actions” had reacted earlier Adrienne Watson. In her statement to NPR, this spokesperson for the White House National Security Council believes that the ICC prosecutor is an “independent actor” who “makes his own prosecutorial decisions based on the evidence. which he has.”
Reactions which follow the announcement by the ICC, the same day, of the issuance of two arrest warrants for “illegal deportation” of Ukrainian children. One against the Russian president, the other targeting the presidential commissioner for children’s rights Maria Lvova-Belova. A decision hailed by the Ukrainian president as well as by the American administration, even though neither Ukraine nor the United States have ratified the Rome Statute, the founding treaty of the International Criminal Court.
Threats to sanctions: this heavy liability that Washington has with The Hague
A non-recognition that Joe Biden also reminded journalists. This reminder is all the more important in a country that has repeatedly threatened the staff of this jurisdiction sitting in The Hague, if they were to look into war crimes of the US army.
From the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan, the United States Congress had set the tone. Via the Servicemembers’ Protection Act, the American legislator can indeed deprive of all military support the non-member countries of NATO which recognize the ICC. Enacted in the summer of 2002 by George Bush, this federal law also authorizes the president to “use all necessary and appropriate means to obtain the release” of a citizen – or “ally” – of the United States detained by the ICC, including military force. This text was thus nicknamed “The Hague Invasion Act”.
When the United States called the ICC a “completely broken and corrupt institution”
More recently, in 2020, the Trump administration adopted sanctions against members of the International Criminal Court. ICC prosecutor Fatou Bensouda – and a senior official in her office, Phakiso Mochochoko – found themselves blacklisted by the US Treasury Department for reporting on abuses by the US military in Afghanistan. . “We will not tolerate illegitimate attempts by the ICC to submit Americans to its jurisdiction,” Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State, told the press, describing the ICC as an “institution completely broken and corrupt“. These sanctions have since been lifted by Joe Biden.
Asked on March 17 on CNN about possible pressure that the White House could exert on foreign leaders to arrest Vladimir Putin if he traveled to their country, John Kirby indulged in same balancing act. Refusing to “speculate” on any “hypothetical situation”, this other spokesman for the National Security Council of the White House was content to repeat that the United States wanted to see Russia “responsible for its actions” and that they would continue to “help Ukraine document and preserve evidence” as there is “a series of international investigations, including the one being conducted by the ICC.”
The same day, the Russian embassy in the United States sharply attacked the ambivalence of the American position with regard to the ICC. “Such a position is reminiscent of slow schizophrenia”, published the Russian diplomatic representation on its Telegram channel. Apart from the United States, we find Russia, India, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and China among the thirty countries that do not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.