Any attempt to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes would be a "declaration of war" against Moscow, said top Russian official Dmitry Medvedev.
"Let's imagine — obviously this situation which will never be realized, but nevertheless let's imagine that it was realized: The current head of the nuclear state went to a territory, say Germany, and was arrested," Medvedev said, according to Reuters.
"What would that be? It would be a declaration of war on the Russian Federation," he added. "And in that case, all our assets — all our missiles, etc. — would fly to the Bundestag, to the chancellor's office."
The International Criminal Court on Friday issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for war crimes, accusing him of personal responsibility for the abductions of children from Ukraine.
It was the first time the global court has issued a warrant against a leader of one of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council.
The ICC said in a statement that Putin "is allegedly responsible for the war crime of unlawful deportation of [children] and that of unlawful transfer of [children] from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation."
The move was immediately dismissed by Moscow — and welcomed by Ukraine as a major breakthrough.
The chances of Putin facing trial remain extremely remote, as Moscow does not recognize the court's jurisdiction.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia doesn't recognize the ICC and considers its decisions "legally void." He called the court's move "outrageous and unacceptable."
Peskov refused to comment when asked if Putin would avoid making trips to countries where he could be arrested on the ICC's warrant.
Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
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