Could Putin be arrested? Here are the risks as he departs Russia after 10 months

Putin will leave Russia for the first time since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Could Putin be arrested? Here are the risks as he departs Russia after 10 months
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Could Putin be arrested? Here are the risks as he departs Russia after 10 months

Vladimir Putin is to leave Russia for the first time in 10 months, and he may face arrest in doing so. He invaded Ukraine in February 2022 and since, there have been reports of his brutality as the leader of a country at war.

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Earlier this year, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for the Russian President. Ever since, Putin has not left the country. The last time he went abroad was in December 2022, when he visited both Kyrgyzstan and Belarus. Now, an announcement has been made that states the Russian President will be heading to Kyrgyzstan next week. So, will he be arrested?

Putin has been invited

Putin is visiting Kyrgyzstan because he has been invited by Kyrgyz President Sadyr Japarov. The visit is official; the Kyrgyz authorities announced the Russian President’s expected arrival on Wednesday 4 October.

According to the Kyrgyz news agency Kabar, who cited an official from the Kyrgyz presidential office:

By the invitation of the president of Kyrgyzstan Sadyr Japarov on October 12 the president of the Russian Federation will pay an official visit to our country.

Putin is expected to visit the city of Kant, which is East of the capital Bishkek, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of a Russian air base’s opening.

The warrant for Putin’s arrest

In March, the ICC issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest. A statement from the prosecutor Karim A.A.Khan KC explains that there are arrest warrants out for the Russian President as well as Ms Maria Lvova-Belova, Commissioner for Children’s Rights in the Office of the President of the Russian Federation. The reason being as follows:

President Putin and Ms Lvova-Belova bear criminal responsibility for the unlawful deportation and transfer of Ukrainian children from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation.

Their actions go against the Rome Statue, a treaty binding its members to adhere to the ICC's decisions. This is why Putin was forced to miss the recent BRICS summit, held in July in South Africa - an ICC member nation that has ratified the Rome Statute.

However, Kyrgyzstan is yet to follow the example of many other nations who have also ratified the treaty. Lawmakers in Armenia on Tuesday did so, adding another country to the list of places Putin will have to avoid. So, for now he will escape arrest, but travelling for the Russian President is becoming more and more risky

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Sources used:

Express: Vladimir Putin faces arrest threat in first trip abroad in 10 months

International Criminal Court: Statement by Prosecutor Karim A. A. Khan KC on the issuance of arrest warrants against President Vladimir Putin and Ms Maria Lvova-Belova

Politico: If Putin goes to Armenia he’d be arrested, as lawmakers back ICC entry

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