Several members of the US House Foreign Affairs Committee met on Wednesday with Russian President Vladimir V. They say they believe Putin committed genocide in Ukraine.
Their comments, made separately to reporters in The Hague, offered a possible preview of Thursday’s meeting with the ICC’s chief prosecutor, Karim Khan. Members of Congress, Republicans and Democrats, Mr. They agreed to classify Putin’s actions as genocide — a legally meaningful term in the context of the court, which began pursuing justice for crimes committed during Russia’s invasion.
Rep. Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, said Mr. Putin said he “tried to destroy a culture, a people and a religion, and that is the definition of genocide.” According to the Associated Press. Representative Ann Wagner, a Republican from Missouri, said Mr. Putin’s “crimes against humanity, blatant genocide committed by this man”. Representative Jerry Connolly, a Democrat from Virginia, said the Russian leader “made the case for genocide himself, and then his behavior filled in the blanks.”
Mr. In court on Thursday, Mr. In the meeting with Khan, Mr. McCall said, and they will discuss how the U.S. can help gather more intelligence to prove its case.
In March, Mr. ICC issues arrest warrant for Putin The arrest warrant has complicated his freedom of movement – in July, Mr. Putin canceled a trip to South Africa, which would have been legally bound to arrest him.
The court, established in 2002, is an independent body that prosecutes war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity, but Mr. Putin is unlikely to face trial before then. The court’s rules prevent defendants from appearing, and Russia is unlikely to surrender its own officials.
The U.S. has generally stayed away from the court, fearing that participation could pave the way for Americans to be sued, but the Biden administration has worked more closely with the court. In July, President Biden ordered the administration to share evidence of Russian war crimes with the ICC, a major shift in US policy.
President Biden for the first time in April, Mr. Putin said he would uphold the genocide, insisting it was his personal view and not a legal decision. He first openly used the description during a speech at a bioethanol plant in Iowa, and later reaffirmed his choice of words.
“Yes, I called it genocide,” he said. “It’s become clearer and clearer that Putin is trying to destroy the idea of being Ukrainian.”