Official from Budapest: Hungary will not arrest Vladimir Putin if he enters Hungarian territory

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s chief of staff, Kerkeli Kulyas, said on Thursday that Hungary would not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he entered Hungarian territory, and there would be no legal basis.

Hungary has signed and ratified the Rome Statute under which the International Criminal Court (ICC) was established, accusing the court of illegality in issuing an arrest warrant for the current president of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, on Friday. Deportation of thousands of Ukrainian children, he writes Agerpres.

The ICC says it has reasonable grounds to believe Putin bears personal criminal responsibility in the case.

Asked whether Vladimir Putin would be arrested if he entered Hungary, Kerkeli Kulias said the Rome Statute had not been promulgated in Hungary. “We can refer to the Hungarian law, on the basis of which the Russian president cannot be arrested… because the ICC Act has not been promulgated in Hungary,” Kulias explained.

He said the Hungarian government “has not finalized its position” on the arrest warrant issued in Vladimir Putin’s name. “These results are not happy because they lead things to escalation, not to peace, which is my personal, subjective opinion,” the Hungarian dignitary added.

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The International Criminal Court on Friday issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lavova-Belova for deporting thousands of Ukrainian minors to Russia.

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

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Russia has not denied taking thousands of children from Ukraine since the start of the so-called “special military operation” but says the aim was to protect them.

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