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Russia’s War on Ukraine Latest: Biden Says Putin War Crime Charges Justified

(Reuters) – The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, alleging Moscow’s forced deportation of Ukrainian children is a war crime, as the Kremlin reacted with outrage.

* US President Joe Biden said Putin has clearly committed war crimes and the ICC’s decision to issue an arrest warrant for him was justified.

* It provoked a furious reaction in Moscow, ranging from dismissal of the court’s jurisdiction to vows to protect Putin from arrest. The Kremlin said the warrant was outrageous but meaningless with respect to Russia.

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* Moscow has repeatedly denied accusations that its forces committed atrocities during the invasion, which it calls a special military operation.

DIPLOMACY, NATO* The United Nations is “doing everything possible” to ensure a deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports continues, UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Friday, a day before the pact is due to expire .

* The International Monetary Fund said its executive board approved rule changes that would allow the IMF to approve loan programs for countries facing “exceptionally high uncertainty” – a move expected to pave the way for fresh Ukraine loans.

* Turkey’s parliament will start ratifying Finland’s accession to NATO, lifting the biggest remaining hurdle to enlarging the Western defense alliance as war rages in Ukraine, though he held off approving Sweden’s bid. The US welcomed Erdogan’s announcement, encouraging Turkey to quickly ratify Sweden’s accession.

* In eastern Ukraine, Kyiv’s forces continued to resist Russian assaults on the ruined eastern city of Bakhmut.

* A commander of Ukrainian ground forces said Russian forces were trying to break through Ukrainian defenses in several directions in an attempt to fully encircle Bakhmut. * The US has resumed surveillance drone flights over the Black Sea region following a Russian fighter jet intercept on Tuesday that led to the downing of a US surveillance drone, two US officials said.

(Compiled by Reuters editors)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters,

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