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Zelenskyy Visits ICC


Netherlands Ukraine Zelenskyy
Netherlands Ukraine Zelenskyy

UPDATED WITH WHITE HOUSE DENIAL OF U.S. INVOLVEMENT: THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy arrived Thursday at the International Criminal Court in The Hague under heavy security, an AFP correspondent witnessed.

Dressed in his recognizable green combat fatigues, and flanked by several members of his staff, Zelenksyy was greeted by ICC President Piotr Hofmanski.

Kyiv had confirmed earlier that Zelenskyy would meet with the leadership of the ICC, which has issued an arrest warrant for Russia's Vladimir Putin over a war crime charge.

Zelenskyy said Thursday that a special tribunal must be created to hold Russia to account for its "crime of aggression".

"There should be responsibility for this crime. And this can only be enforced by the tribunal," he told diplomats and officials at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, which has issued an arrest warrant for Russia's Vladimir Putin over a war crime charge.

Zelenskyy is also due to meet Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Defense Minister Kajsa Ollongren and make a speech entitled "No peace without justice for Ukraine."

The Netherlands has pledged both financial and military support to Ukraine since Russia launched its invasion in February 2022.

Dutch news agency ANP said he had arrived at Amsterdam's Schipol Airport on Wednesday evening after attending a summit in Finland.

Belgian Prime Minister Alexander De Croo is also set to meet with Zelenskyy and Rutte and tweeted Thursday that he was on the way to The Hague.

Zelenskyy's surprise visit to the country came a day after Moscow accused Kyiv of a drone "attack" on the Kremlin, which Kyiv strongly denied. Russia also accused the U.S. of being behind the drone "attack."

The White House on Wednesday denied any involvement in the alleged drone attack on the Kremlin, after Russian spokesman Dmitri Peskov accused Washington of guiding Ukraine to launch such a brazen assault.

"We had nothing to do with this" said John Kirby, spokesperson for the White House National Security Council, on MSNBC.

"Peskov is just lying there, pure and simple," he added.