Hungary would not arrest Putin if he entered the country

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orban
Vladimir Putin and Viktor Orban / Photo: EPA-EFE / Zoltan Mathe

Hungary would not arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he entered the country, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán's chief of staff said today, clarifying that there is no legal basis for this.

Hungary signed and ratified the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court (ICC). That court issued an arrest warrant for Putin on Friday, accusing him of war crimes and illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine.

When asked if Putin would be arrested if he came to Hungary, Gergely Guljas said that the Rome Statute was not incorporated into the Hungarian legal system.

"We can refer to the Hungarian law and on that basis we cannot arrest the Russian president because the ICC statute has not entered into force in Hungary," Guljas said.

He also said the government had not taken a position on Putin's arrest warrant. "Such decisions are not the happiest because they contribute to further escalation of the conflict, not peace. That's my opinion," Guljas added.

Putin, only the third president for whom the ICC has issued an arrest warrant, is unlikely to end up in court anytime soon. But he can be arrested and sent to The Hague if he arrives in any member of the ICC.

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