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War in Ukraine. Live coverage – Thursday 27 July 2023

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US President Joe Biden ordered in the last days of his administration to start sharing accumulated evidence about Russian war crimes with the International Criminal Court, the New York Times reported on Wednesday. According to the daily, cooperation with the ICC has been blocked by the Pentagon so far.

As the “NYT” writes, although the White House has not yet announced this decision publicly, it began informing congressmen on Tuesday, thus settling an internal dispute in the administration.

According to the daily’s sources, although the administration praised the actions of the ICC and its issuing of an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, there was an intense debate behind the scenes in the White House about whether the US should share the information it has with the Court.

Both the State Department and the Justice Department were in favor, but the Pentagon was blocking the case, which feared it would set a precedent for future prosecutions of US military personnel. Neither Russia nor the US are parties to the Rome Statute, which is the basis for the operation of the ICC. Both countries initially signed the document, but later withdrew their signatures.

Bob Menendez, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, appealed to the Biden administration in a letter on Wednesday to change this policy in the context of the ICC’s investigation into the deportation of Ukrainian children. As the senator told the newspaper, although he had not heard of a change in policy, he would welcome it. He also called the Pentagon’s attitude “unacceptable.”

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