The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, is currently on a visit to Kyrgyzstan – his first foreign visit since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest in March this year.
Kyrgyzstan is not a member of the International Criminal Court and was therefore not obliged to handcuff the Russian leader when he entered this Central Asian country on Thursday.
Putin and his Kyrgyz counterpart, Sadyr Japarov, gathered in the capital Bishkek for a summit of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a post-Soviet grouping.
“I would like to thank the president for the invitation. We have good reasons (to be here), but even without reasons, this visit has been expected for a long time,” Putin said in conversation with Japarov.
During the visit, Putin called for Russia and Kyrgyzstan to strengthen their military ties.
Kyrgyzstan is part of the Treaty Organization for Collective Security, a military alliance of former Soviet states, similar to NATO, led by Russia.
“I expect that military and military-technical cooperation between Russia and Kyrgyzstan … will continue to strengthen and expand,” the Russian leader said during the visit.
Putin has rarely left Russia since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in February last year.
The Russian leader has only traveled to Russian-occupied parts of Ukraine this year. His last foreign trips were to Belarus (Belarus) and Kyrgyzstan in December last year.
He is expected to travel to China next week.
Moscow likens the prospect of an arrest abroad to an act of war and has labeled the warrant for Putin’s arrest “illegal”.
The Russian government nevertheless sent Sergei Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, to the Brics summit in South Africa in August of this year, as South Africa was expected to arrest Putin upon his arrival in the country. take.
South Africa is a member of the International Criminal Court.
The court issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest last February. The Russian president is accused of war crimes after thousands of Ukrainian children were allegedly illegally deported to Russia.
RNews reported earlier that it is highly unlikely that anything will come of the warrants as the International Criminal Court does not have the power to arrest suspects. Moreover, the court can only exercise jurisdiction within its member states’ territorial territory – and Russia is not one of the member states.