Hungary will not arrest Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of…

Hungary will not arrest Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff assures

Hungary will not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he were to enter Hungarian territory, as there would be no legal basis for doing so, Gergely Gulyas, chief of staff to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, said on Thursday, reports Reuters, cited by Agerpres.

Hungary has signed and ratified the Rome Statute, the document that established the International Criminal Court (ICC), which on Friday issued an arrest warrant for current Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges of illegally deporting thousands of Ukrainian children.

The ICC says there are reasonable grounds to believe Putin bears individual criminal responsibility in the case.

Asked whether Vladimir Putin would be arrested if he entered Hungary, Gergely Gulyas said the Rome Statute had not been enacted in Hungary. „We can refer to Hungarian law and based on it we cannot arrest the Russian president… as the ICC statute has not been promulgated in Hungary,” Gulyas explained.

He said the Hungarian government „has not finalized its position” on the arrest warrant issued for Vladimir Putin. „These decisions are not the happiest as they lead things towards escalation and not towards peace, this is my personal, subjective opinion,” the Hungarian official added.

The International Criminal Court on Friday issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, for the deportation of thousands of Ukrainian minors to Russia.

Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute, which means the arrest warrants issued by the ICC have no legal force on its territory. However, the ICC decision could prevent the Russian president from travelling to any of the 123 countries that recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court.

Russia has not denied taking thousands of children from Ukraine since the start of what it calls a „special military operation”, but says the aim was to protect them.

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