Russian President Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev speak before a meeting with government members in Moscow


  • Medvedev said Russia will target the German chancellor's office if Germany arrests Putin
  • He mocked a German minister for suggesting that they will comply with the ICC's arrest warrant for Putin
  • The ICC said it 'regrets' Russia's 'attempts to hinder international efforts to ensure accountability'

A top Russian official on Thursday said that arresting President Vladimir Putin on the International Criminal Court's warrant for his role in forcibly deporting Ukrainian children would amount to a "declaration of war."

Dmitry Medvedev, deputy chairman of the Russian Security Council and former prime minister of Russia, made the startling comment while fielding questions from reporters and users of Russia's social media network VKontakte.

"Just imagine - clearly that such a situation is never going to happen but still - let's imagine that it has happened. The incumbent head of a nuclear country arrives in, say, Germany and is arrested. What does it mean? A declaration of war against Russia," Medvedev was quoted as saying by the Russian state news agency TASS. "In such a case, all our weapons will target the Bundestag, the [German] chancellor's office and so on."

Medvedev went on to mock German Federal Minister of Justice Marco Buschmann who suggested arresting Putin if he steps foot in the country, in accordance with the Rome Statute, an agreement that underpins ICC authority. Under the Rome Statute, member countries are obligated to arrest Putin and transfer him to The Hague for trial if he sets foot in their territory.

"Does he even realize that it would be a casus belli, a declaration of war? Or was he a bad law student?" the former Russian prime minister added.

The ICC issued the arrest warrant last Friday, accusing Putin of playing a role in the scheme to forcibly transfer thousands of Ukrainian children and deport them to Russia where they will receive political re-education and put up for adoption by Russian families.

Earlier this week, Medvedev suggested the Kremlin could launch a hypersonic missile from a Russian warship in the North Sea targeting the ICC's The Hague. He also advised the prosecutor and judges of the ICC to "look carefully into the sky."

Additionally, Russia's top investigative body opened a criminal case against ICC, the prosecutor and the judges who issued the arrest warrant for Putin.

In response, the ICC said it is concerned over the threats from Russia and said it "regrets these attempts to hinder international efforts to ensure accountability for acts that are prohibited under general international law."

Deputy Chairman of Russia's Security Council Medvedev gives an interview outside Moscow