The European Union, EU Foreign Policy Chief, Federica Mogherini, on Thursday expressed regret at Russia’s withdrawal from the International Criminal Court, ICC.
“We regret the Russian Federation’s decision to withdraw its signature and not to become a party to the Rome Statute establishing the ICC,” Mr. Mogherini said in a statement.
She insisted that the EU remained a staunch supporter of the ICC and was committed to full cooperation on the prevention of serious crimes falling under the jurisdiction of the court.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Russia had decided to withdraw from the ICC due to the court’s “incompetence’’.
The ministry said in a statement that the court did not justify hopes assigned to it and failed to act as a truly independent authoritative body of international justice.
Earlier on Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an order sending a notification to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to state that Russia refused to participate in the ICC.
On Monday, the ICC published an annual report on the preliminary examination activities of its prosecutor’s office, in which it alleged that the incorporation of Crimea into Russia “amounted to an international armed conflict” between Russia and Ukraine.
The court added that the situation in the peninsula “factually amounts to an ongoing state of occupation”.
Crimea was incorporated into Russia in 2014 following a referendum, which was recognised by Moscow but rejected by Ukraine and the Western powers.
The ICC was founded in 2002 and headquartered in The Hague, the Netherlands.
Russia signed the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding document, in September 2000, but never ratified it.
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