Mosco : Russian President Vladimir Putin has approved an order to withdraw the nation from the process of joining the International Criminal Court (ICC).
Russia signed the Rome statute, which governs the ICC, in 2000 but never ratified the agreement to become a member.
The decision came after an ICC ruling that Russia’s activity in Crimea amounted to an “ongoing occupation”.
Russia thus joins the US and other nations which have rejected the court.
The court ruled Russia’s 2014 takeover of the Crimea peninsula had been an armed conflict between it and Ukraine. This would mean the annexation fell under the court’s jurisdiction.
But Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the wording “contradicts reality”, while the foreign ministry called the court “one-sided and inefficient”.
Russia has found itself the subject of the court’s focus on more than one occasion. Earlier this year, the ICC authorised an investigation into the 2008 Russia-Georgia conflict in South Ossetia.
In response to Russia’s withdrawal, the court’s chief prosecutor said: “We owe it to future generations not to abandon the ICC.”
The ICC was established to pass judgement on four international crimes: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of aggression.