| 8 December 2023, Friday |

Russia announces sanctions on ICC prosecutor, UK ministers

On Friday, Russia declared sanctions against the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), who has pursued the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Additionally, sanctions were imposed on British ministers who have vehemently criticized Russia’s military actions in Ukraine.
Russian Foreign Ministry denounced the “unwavering military support from London” to Kyiv and “the aggressive implementation… of a hostile anti-Russian policy”. The step from Russia has come almost a year and a half of conflict in Ukraine.

The ICC’s Karim Khan, who is British, issued an arrest warrant for Putin in March on the accusation of having unlawfully deported Ukrainian children.
Russia is not a member of the ICC. It has said that warrant against Putin is “void”. In May, the ICC said that it was “undeterred” after Russia included Khan in a wanted list over his issuance of the warrant.
Russia said of 54 people had been added to the sanctions list which has targetted British citizens.

The list includes sports minister Lucy Fraser “who is actively pushing for the international sporting isolation of Russia, and the British Deputy Defence Minister Annabel Goldie, who is responsible for delivering weapons to Ukraine,” the statement read.

Journalists have been sanctioned as well. These are from the BBC, the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph. The journalists have been accused by Moscow of being “involved” in “disseminating false information” about Russia and in “supporting information and propaganda activities” by Kyiv.

Also Read | Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko threatens nuclear weapons strike in response to aggression

Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. After initial success, Russia troops had to retreat from many regions because of the counterattacks by the Ukrainian forces.

Western countries, led by the US, have poured millions and millions of dollars in military, as well as humanitarian aid to Ukraine. The United Kingdom has been one of the main financial and military supporters.

Belarus threatens nuclear strike

Meanwhile, Russia-ally Belarus has warned of a nuclear strike in case of an “aggression” by NATO allies at its border. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the threat. His remarks were directed at Poland, Lithuania and Latvia. These countries are members of NATO and have expressed their concern against Belarus for providing shelter to the wagner troops.

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