Mariusz Błaszczak made the comment in a media interview on Saturday night, Polish state news agency PAP reported.
Asked about the ICC’s move, which was announced on Friday, the deputy PM told state broadcaster TVP Info: “It’s good that such a decision has been made, that such a ‘wanted’ notice has been issued.”
Błaszczak, who is also Poland’s defence minister, cautioned: “We must realise that there are forces in the world that don’t want to see a stop to Russia’s efforts to rebuild its empire.”
He added: “I’m always an optimist and I know that people of goodwill are in the majority, so let’s be optimists.”
The deputy PM stressed: “At the same time, let’s not just hope for the best. Let’s build Poland’s resistance, based on the strength of the Polish Army, based on the policy of deterrence and defence.”
Putin wanted by International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes in Ukraine
The ICC decision to issue an arrest warrant for Putin has been welcomed by the Polish foreign ministry.
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky and Western leaders, including US President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, have hailed the court’s move, according to news outlets.
The ICC decision, based on allegations that Putin has overseen the unlawful deportation of Ukrainian children to Russia during his invasion of Ukraine, marks the first time the court has issued a warrant against one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, according to Britain’s The Guardian newspaper.
The ICC’s move obligates its 123 member countries to arrest the Russian leader and transfer him to The Hague, Netherlands, for trial, if he sets foot on their land, the UK paper also noted.
Russian forces have perpetrated “a wide range of war crimes” during their assault on Ukraine, including willful killings, systematic torture and deportation of children, according to a new report from a UN-supported inquiry.
Sunday is day 389 of Russia’s war on Ukraine.
Source: PAP, tvp.info