Russia withdraws from the International Criminal Court

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By Catherine Hardy
Russia withdraws from the International Criminal Court

Russia says it is withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court.

Moscow signed the Statute of Rome in 2000 but never ratified it.

Officials are quoted as saying the Hague-based tribunal is not “truly independent” and has not lived up the hopes of the international community.

The court was set up to try those suspected of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

“President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree outlining Russia’s intention to not be a member state of the Statute of Rome which established the International Criminal Court,” said Russia’s Foreign Ministry in a statement.

“We were never members of the ICC,” a ministry official told the AFP agency. “We signed the statute but have never ratified it. We are withdrawing our signature so the obligations linked to that will henceforth be withdrawn.”

Three African countries – Gambia, South Africa and Burundi – have recently announced their intention to withdraw from the ICC.

The US and China have never been members.