Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Putin On The Blitz, Con't

US Secretary of State Tony Blinken is helpfully reminding our European allies that if you see that Vladimir Putin guy, you should give him a free ride to the Hague.

European countries should detain Vladimir Putin and turn him over to the International Criminal Court if the Russian president visits their countries, Secretary of State Antony Blinken told lawmakers Wednesday.

Blinken’s remarks, made in response to a line of questioning, follow the court’s decision last week to issue an arrest warrant for Putin that accuses him of being personally responsible for the abductions of children from Ukraine — 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.

“Would you encourage our European allies to turn him over?” Republican Sen. Lindsey O. Graham of South Carolina asked Blinken during a budget hearing.

“Anyone who is a party to the court and has obligations should fulfill their obligations,” Blinken said.

Putin is unlikely to visit hostile European countries any time soon, especially in light of the ICC arrest warrant — a decision that received both praise for standing up against Putin and criticism for potentially closing diplomatic pathways for reaching a political resolution that ends the fighting.

During the hearing, Blinken defended the Biden administration’s $6.8 trillion budget proposal to Congress, saying it was necessary in order for the United States to confront the “acute threat” posed by Russia and the “long-term challenge” from China while also addressing climate change and migration.

President Biden defied Republican demands to reduce the size of government earlier this month with a budget that proposes increasing spending on the Pentagon and social programs while raising taxes on higher earners and corporations.

“The post-Cold War world is over, and there is an intense competition underway to determine what comes next,” Blinken told a Senate panel on appropriations. “This budget will help us advance that vision, and deliver on the issues that matter most to the American people.”
Frankly Blinken is doing a hell of a job, given the challenges. I'm not worried about the State Department doing something stupid as with Rex Tillerson or Mike Pompeo.

Having said that, the odds of any non-Russian country besides the US delivering Putin to the ICC is precisely zero, and everyone knows it.  That's diplomacy!

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