Hungary would not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose arrest was warranted by the International Criminal Court (ICC), on its territory. This was stated by Chancellor Gergely Gulyas at a press conference in Budapest. "Hungary never proclaimed the ICC statute," he said. It contradicts the Hungarian constitution. The President was therefore unable to countersign it, he added.
The ICC in The Hague issued an arrest warrant against Putin for war crimes in Ukraine last Friday. According to the court, the Russian President is allegedly responsible for the deportation of Ukrainian children from occupied territories to Russia. Russia - and also China - do not recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile, Hungary's right-wing populist Prime Minister Viktor Orban maintains a relatively good relationship with the Kremlin ruler.
Hungary signed the Rome Statute of the ICC in 1999, ratified it in 2001 and deposited the relevant documents at the seat of the Court in the same year. At the same time, changing conservative presidents failed to countersign the ratification law. They referred to alleged incompatibilities with the Hungarian constitution. The ICC regards Hungary as a signatory state and is therefore bound by the statute. The matter is controversial among Hungarian lawyers.
Baerbock insists on the implementation of the arrest warrant
Despite Russian threats, Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock backed the arrest warrant. "Nobody is above the United Nations Charter, nobody is above international humanitarian law, nobody can go unpunished in committing war crimes, crimes against humanity," said the Green politician after meeting her Macedonian colleague Bujar Osmani in the capital Skopje. Baerbock added: "That's why we are now supporting the International Criminal Court with a view to the arrest warrant."
Germany defends the United Nations Charter, stressed the German Foreign Minister. That is why we stand wholeheartedly behind the International Criminal Court, which was created to ensure that war crimes did not go unpunished. "Sometimes it takes time, sometimes it takes decades," said Baerbock. But for this reason Germany has unreservedly supported the International Criminal Court in The Hague in recent years.
Support also from North Macedonia
Osmani said North Macedonia condemned the Russian attack on Ukraine from the start and sent humanitarian and military aid. The government in Skopje has joined all EU sanctions packages against Russia. "There will be responsibility for all offenders," Osmani said. North Macedonia is currently the chair of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).
Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had previously warned that arresting Putin abroad as a result of the International Criminal Court's arrest warrant would be a declaration of war on his country. "For example, an incumbent president of a nuclear power comes to Germany and is arrested. What is that? A declaration of war on the Russian Federation," Medvedev told the state news agency TASS.