UK hosts crunch talks on Putin ‘war crimes’ investigation
International justice ministers are meeting in London to discuss support for the investigation into war crimes in Ukraine.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued a warrant for Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s arrest, accusing him of bearing personal responsibility for the abduction of children.
It is the first arrest warrant to be issued against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the United Nations security council.
In an apparent show of defiance, Putin reportedly made a surprise visit to the occupied Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Sunday, where he was filmed by Russian state media.
The trip to the Donbas region is thought to be his first in the area since the invasion last year.
More than 40 nations will be represented at Monday’s war crimes meeting, hosted by justice secretary Dominic Raab, and Dutch justice minister Dilan Yesilgoz-Zegerius, at Lancaster House.
Raab said: “We are gathering today united by one cause to hold war criminals to account for the atrocities committed in Ukraine during this unjust, unprovoked and unlawful invasion.”
The UK is boosting its financial support for the court, in The Hague in the Netherlands, to £1m this year. Other countries are expected to pledge financial and practical assistance.
“The UK, alongside the international community, will continue to provide the ICC with the funding, people and expertise to ensure justice is served,” the deputy prime minister added.
New funds for psychological help for victims and witnesses of crime, more UK expert staff and digital training for investigators to bring war criminals to justice has also been pledged.
Raab is currently awaiting the outcome of an investigation into allegations of bullying against him during his tenure as a government minister.
The ICC has also issued a warrant for the arrest of Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights.
A Kremlin spokesperson dismissed the move against Putin as “outrageous and unacceptable”.