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Russia withdraws signature from International criminal court statute

Russia withdraws signature from International criminal court statute

Russia decided to withdraw formally from the number of countries that signed the International Criminal Court’s statute. Putin’s government announced this decision a day after an ICC released its report, which is classifying the Russian annexation of Crimea as an occupation. The international community believes that Russia invaded Ukrainian peninsula, while Russia with this statement disagrees.

Russia followed three African countries who were all full members of the ICC have signalled their intention to remove their names from the signatories list. The reason for leaving of South Africa, Burundi and Gambia were complaints that ICC prosecutions focused excessively on the African continent.

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Russia disagrees with the ICC’s opinion regarding the Crimea peninsula. The Russian foreign ministry made the announcement on Wednesday on the orders of the president, Vladimir Putin. Mr Lavrov said in his statement that ICC had failed to live up to hopes of the international community and denouncing its work as “one-sided and inefficient”.

Russia and ICC: history

Russia signed the Rome statute in 2000 and cooperated with the court, but had not ratified the treaty and thus remained outside the ICC’s jurisdiction. This means that the latest move, though highly symbolic, will not change much in practice.

In January, the Russian foreign ministry said it would reconsider its attitude to the court after rulings on the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia.

Russia about ICC’s activity

Russian MFA’s spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, reminds that Russia stood at the origins of the ICC’s founding, the country hoped to see the ICC as an important factor in consolidating the rule of law and stability in international relations. But tribunal failed, so, Russia is leaving this inefficient organisation.

“Unfortunately, to our mind, this did not happen. In this regard, and in the light of the latest decision, the Russian federation will be forced to fundamentally review its attitude towards the ICC,”

said Mrs Zakharova.

The last drop for Russia became a report, which ICC released on Tuesday. The tribunal’s document recognised the annexation of Crimea as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, in other words, it as an occupation.