Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made an unexpected visit to The Hague on Wednesday and is set to meet with the leadership of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday, according to his spokesman Sergiy Nykyforov, as reported by AFP. The visit follows the ICC’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin in March over a war crime charge.
The New York Times reported that Zelensky is scheduled to speak in The Hague on Thursday, but the details of the meeting with the ICC have not been disclosed.
Meanwhile, Russia has accused Ukraine of attempting to assassinate President Putin by carrying out a drone attack on the Kremlin. The Kremlin released a statement saying that “Ukraine tried to attack the Kremlin with drones. It is a terrorist act and we have the right to respond,” as quoted by the news agency AP.
The Guardian reported that two drones were allegedly used by Ukraine in the attack and both were disabled by Russian defense officers. No harm was caused to Putin or the buildings in the Kremlin.
RIA, the Russian state news agency, was quoted by The Guardian as saying that “The Kremlin has assessed these actions as a planned terrorist act and an assassination attempt on the president on the eve of Victory Day, the May 9 Parade. The Russian side reserves the right to take retaliatory measures where and when it sees fit.”
In response to the allegations, President Zelensky denied the accusation, stating that “We didn’t attack Putin.” Ukraine issued a statement, denying any attack on the Kremlin and calling Russia’s accusations of terrorism an attempt to justify any future aggression against Ukraine.
“Russia is preparing for a large-scale terrorist attack. Ukraine wages an exclusively defensive war and does not attack targets on the territory of the Russian Federation,” the statement read.
The escalating tensions between Ukraine and Russia have been ongoing since the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, with Ukraine accusing Russia of supporting separatists in the Donbas region. The ICC’s issuance of an arrest warrant for Putin has further strained the relationship between the two countries.