Former President Dmitry Medvedev says any attempt to arrest Putin

Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has taken to social media claiming any attempt to enforce an arrest warrant from the International Criminal Court for Vladimir Putin would be a “declaration of war.”

Mr Medvedev also warned that Russia would respond to Mr Putin’s arrest with all “our assets – all our missiles,” in a series of threats posted to Telegram.

He also blamed Ukraine’s allies for raising the risk of nuclear conflict, saying the likelihood had “grown.”

“Everyday when they provide Ukraine with foreign weapons brings the nuclear apocalypse closer,” he said.

Mr Medvedev claimed the ICC, which several countries including China and the United States do not recognise, was a “legal nonentity” with no significant achievements.

Russia also does not recognise the court and labelled the arrest warrant “null and void” when it was issued last week.

Earlier this week Russia’s Investigative Committee launched its own proceedings against the ICC’s chief prosecutor Karim Khan, who it claims violated Russian law by calling for Mr Putin’s arrest.

Speaking on the conflict more generally, Mr Medvedev acknowledged relations between the West and Russia were “worse than they have ever been in history,” but repeated claims from the Kremlin that Ukraine lacked true sovereignty as justification for the war.

“Honestly speaking, Ukraine is part of Russia,” he said.

“But due to geopolitical reasons and the course of history, we had tolerated that we were living in separate quarters and had been forced to acknowledge those invented borders for a long time.”

His comments are at odds with those of Mr Putin who earlier this week suggested he was prepared to negotiate peace “whenever the West and Kyiv are ready for it.”

Speaking after two days of meetings with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Russian President backed a 12-point plan put forward last month which calls for an immediate ceasefire but makes no mention of Russian troops withdrawing from Ukraine.

Western leaders have criticised the plan as lacking detail and said China cannot act as an honest broker due to its close ties with Russia and refusal to condemn Mr Putin’s government for the invasion.

Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, has cautiously welcomed China’s involvement, but told media last week he was still waiting for a response from their government following an invitation to begin talks.

“We offered China to become a partner in the implementation of the peace formula,” he said.

“We invite you to the dialogue; we are waiting for your answer.”

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