Russia’s ex-president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that attempts to arrest Vladimir Putin abroad after the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued a warrant against him would be seen by Moscow as a “declaration of war”.
Late on Wednesday, he said Russian weapons would hit a country if it arrested Putin.
The ICC, based in The Hague, last week announced an arrest warrant for the Russian leader, accused of deporting Ukrainian children.
“Let’s imagine — it’s clear that this is a situation that will never happen — but nevertheless let’s imagine it does,” the Putin ally said.
“The current head of a nuclear state arrives on the territory of, say, Germany, and is arrested. What is this? A declaration of war against the Russian Federation.”
If this occurred, “all of our means, rockets, and other things, will fly on the Bundestag, in the Chancellor’s Office and so on,” according to Medvedev.
The decision of the ICC, according to Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Russia’s security council, will worsen already tense relations with the West.
His remarks came two days after Russia announced that the International Criminal Court’s prosecutor Karim Khan and four other judges were under criminal investigation for making “illegal” decisions.
The Russian president’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, was also the subject of an arrest warrant from the Hague-based court.
The ICC’s legislative body expressed concern on Wednesday for “threats” made against the tribunal regarding its warrant.
The assembly’s chair issued a statement in which it expressed concern for the attempts to obstruct international efforts to seek responsibility for activities that are against general international law.