“There are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears individual criminal responsibility for the aforementioned crimes,” the court said in a statement.
The court added Putin did not “exercise control properly over civilian and military subordinates who committed the acts, or allowed for their commission, and who were under his effective authority and control.”
Maria Alekseyevna Lvova-Belova, Putin’s presidential commissioner for children’s rights, was also issued an arrest warrant for allegedly carrying out the same war crime.
Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova released a statement, saying the arrest warrants “have no meaning for the Russian Federation” and “are legally null and void.”
The warrant against Putin comes after a U.N.-backed cited Russian attacks against civilians in Ukraine, including systematic torture and killing in occupied regions.
Russian officials have denied the accusations, calling them a “fantasy” aimed at discrediting Russia.
Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin praise the decision in a statement on Twitter.
“Over 16,000 incidents of forcible deportation of children are investigated in Ukraine,” he said. “We fear the real numbers may be higher.”
Kostin added: “Russia is literally tearing apart our future. We’ll do our utmost to bring children home and hold every perpetrator of the horrendous crimes accountable.”
The U.S. does not recognize the court’s jurisdiction but before departing the White House for the weekend, President Joe Biden said he agrees with the decision, saying, Putin “clearly committed war crimes”.
“I think it’s justified, but the question is it’s not recognized internationally by us either,” he said. “But I think it makes a very strong point.”