Europe & UK

November 17, 2016

Russia Announces Intentions To Leave ICC


The Russian Foreign Ministry released a statement expressing the government's decision to withdraw its signature from the Rome Statute, effectively leaving the International Criminal Court(ICC). In its statement, the government expressed disdain over the ICC's current investigation into possible crimes committed by Russian forces in South Ossetia in 2008. The statement also condemned the ICC for its expenditures and alleged ineffectiveness. Russia first signed the Rome Statute in 2000.

Russia is the latest of several nations to withdraw from the ICC. South Africa officially announced its intent to withdraw from the ICC in October and submitted a bill to withdraw in November. A few days after the announcement, Human Rights Watch criticized South Africa for the decision. Shortly after South Africa's announcement, the Gambian government announced that it will be leaving the ICC. Earlier in October, Burundi voted to withdraw from the ICC amid criticism that the court only prosecutes African nationals. Also, in October, the ICC president stated that such withdrawals "represent a setback in the fight against impunity and the efforts towards the objective of universality of the Statute."

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