Vladimir Putin arrived in Kyrgyzstan Thursday, visiting overseas for the primary time for the reason that Worldwide Prison Courtroom issued an arrest warrant for him in March.
Putin is needed by the courtroom over the deportation of Ukrainian kids. Its ruling requires members of the ICC, which doesn’t embrace Kyrgyzstan, to make the arrest if he units foot on their territory.
Russian information companies TASS, Interfax and RIA Novosti reported early Thursday morning that Putin had arrived in Kyrgyzstan.
He is because of meet his Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japarov and to participate in a summit of the Commonwealth of Unbiased States along with his Belarus ally Alexander Lukashenko and different regional leaders.
The long-time chief has not often left Russia since launching the Ukraine offensive in February 2022.
This 12 months, he has travelled solely to Russian-occupied components of Ukraine, along with his final international journeys to Belarus and Kyrgyzstan final December — a far cry from the busy worldwide schedule he had earlier in his rule.
Now, in an indication of Russia’s isolation, he’s planning a go to to North Korea subsequent, in addition to China.
Moscow has likened the prospect of Putin being arrested overseas to an act of warfare, casting the warrant as “illegal”.
In observe, nonetheless, it has taken precautions: in August, Russia despatched Overseas Minister Sergei Lavrov to a BRICS summit in ICC member South Africa, as a substitute of Putin.
Whereas the full-scale Ukraine offensive made Putin a persona-non-grata within the Western world, the ICC ruling just about closed the door to a big a part of the globe for him.
The Rome Statute, a treaty requiring members to stick to ICC rulings, has been ratified by 123 international locations.
The ruling prompted a authorized headache for ICC member South Africa, which hosted the BRICS summit to which Putin was invited.
In a last-minute determination, Moscow despatched its international minister as a substitute of Putin.
“Why should I create some problems for our friends during an event?” Putin stated this month, commenting on his absence from Johannesburg.
“If I come, a political show will start,” he added.
Putin is needed alongside his kids’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova for the warfare crime of allegedly unlawfully deporting 1000’s of Ukrainian kids to Russia.
Moscow rejects the allegations.
Armenia PM snubs assembly
The go to comes amid some rifts amongst Russia’s allies.
Armenian chief Nikol Pashinyan will skip the summit attended by Putin, host nation Kyrgyzstan introduced two days earlier than the occasion.
Pashinyan has criticised Moscow for not intervening when Azerbaijan launched a profitable offensive to take over the breakaway Nagorno-Karabakh area final month.
His snub got here after Armenian lawmakers moved to affix the ICC, angering Moscow and doubtlessly limiting Putin’s journey choices additional.
Putin is planning to fulfill with the chief of Armenia’s arch-foe, Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev.
Moscow’s Ukraine offensive has additionally rattled its Central Asian companions.
Putin visited all 5 regional international locations — Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan — in 2022, portraying them as Russia’s core allies.
Forward of Putin’s journey, Kyrgyzstan stated it had ratified an settlement for a standard air defence system with Russia.
Moscow has comparable offers with different allied international locations together with Kazakhstan, Belarus and Tajikistan.
However suspicion of Russia in components of the area has grown. Not one of the Central Asian international locations supported Russia in a key UN vote on Ukraine final 12 months.
In September, Kazakhstan even vowed to adjust to the large Western sanctions on Russia, with its chief saying Astana won’t assist Moscow circumvent them.
Central Asian international locations, which have many voters working in Russia, have warned their folks to not combat in Ukraine alongside Moscow’s forces.