Russia issues arrest warrant for South Carolina senator

CHARLOTTE — Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina apparently isn’t welcome in Russia.

On Monday, Russia’s Interior Ministry issued an arrest warrant for the Republican senator after comments that he made about the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, according to the Associated Press.

Graham had met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and said that the U.S. military assistance to Ukraine was “the best money we’ve ever spent.” An edited video published by Zelenskyy’s office juxtaposed that comment with another comment by Graham when he said that “the Russians are dying,” the AP reports. That video caused backlash in Russia.

Sen. Graham responded to the warrant on Monday, doubling down on his support for Ukraine.

“I will wear the arrest warrant issued by Putin’s corrupt and immoral government as a Badge of Honor,” Graham said in a statement. “To know that my commitment to Ukraine has drawn the ire of Putin’s regime brings me immense joy. I will continue to stand with and for Ukraine’s freedom until every Russian soldier is expelled from Ukrainian territory.”

Russia escalated its invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022. Tens of thousands of people have been killed, and Russian President Vladimir Putin has been accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Court.

Graham on Monday essentially taunted the Russian government to pursue the alleged case against him by referencing the ICC’s warrant for Putin.

“Finally, here’s an offer to my Russian ‘friends’ who want to arrest and try me for calling out the Putin regime as being war criminals: I will submit to jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court if you do,” Graham’s statement said. “Come and make your best case. See you in The Hague!”

Graham has served as a U.S. Senator for South Carolina since 2003, he was elected to his current term in 2020.

(WATCH: Russia attacks Ukraine: What you need to know)

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