White House Fears Austin’s Refusal to Work With ICC on Ukraine Will Hurt Morale: Report

In this Aug. 18, 2021, photo, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin pauses while speaking during a media briefing at the Pentagon in Washington.InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – The White House fears the revelation that the Pentagon chief has been blocking information sharing with the International Criminal Court on Ukraine will damage its moral case for helping Kiev, a media reported on Sunday, citing officials. White House officials were reportedly “dismayed” when the report came out last week. The publication cited officials as saying that Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was opposed to helping the Hague-based court probe alleged Russian war crimes in Ukraine over concerns that this would set a precedent for prosecuting Americans for atrocities committed abroad, in countries like Afghanistan.Russia’s Special Operation in UkraineFractures Mount in US-Ukraine Unity Over Crimea, Artemovsk, Nord Stream Attacks: Report17:35 GMTThe United States has long kept its distance from the ICC for fear that the tribunal, created two decades ago to investigate war crimes, would one day go after its own citizens, but Congress modified legal curbs on engaging with the court in December to allow for evidence sharing on Ukraine. Despite the readiness of other federal agencies, the Pentagon blocked the Biden administration from reaching out. Russia denies that its troops have ever committed war crimes in Ukraine where they are conducting what Moscow terms a special military operation. Russia argues that Western-backed international organizations have repeatedly ignored Ukrainian atrocities against people in Donbas.

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