Russia Withdraws From The International Criminal Court (ICC)

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MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MARCH 24: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a state award ceremony honoring participants of the Olympic and Paralympics Games in Sochi in the Kremlin, March 24, 2014 in Moscow, Russia. Putin awarded Russian citizens and also citizens of other countries for the successful preparations of the games. Among the guests at the award ceremony were coaches, athletes, the chiefs of sports federations, journalists, officials, and constructors.  (Photo by Sasha Mordovets/Getty Images)

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday approved a decree declaring that his country will not become a member of the International Criminal Court (ICC).

In his decree, Putin ordered Russia’s Foreign Ministry to inform the UN of his decision.

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The decision came after an ICC ruling that Russia’s activity in Crimea amounted to an “ongoing occupation.”

Earlier this week, the international court had released a statement saying it was considering Russia and Ukraine to be involved in an armed conflict, with Crimea as occupied territory.

Russia had in 2000 signed a treaty to establish the court, but the country did not ratify an agreement to join.

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Russia’s withdrawal is coming barely months after three African countries who were all full members of the ICC – South Africa, Burundi and Gambia – signalled their intention to pull out, following complaints that ICC prosecutions focused excessively on the African continent.

The United States had initially signed the Rome statute under the Clinton administration but later withdrew, under the leadership of George W Bush.

READ ALSO: South Africa Announces Withdrawal From International Criminal Court

Sudan and Israel have also withdrawn their signatures in the past, while other nations – including China and India – have rejected membership outright.

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Russia may also be concerned about ICC jurisdiction in Syria, where its forces have been repeatedly accused of carrying out war crimes in recent months.

Datboyjerry

Datboyjerry

I am but your herald boy in the art of the pen.. An eccentric Environmental Biologist smouldered in the glorious epiphany of online journalism.If you ever find my article unduly insipid, sue me and i’ll refund you...

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