MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/.The International Criminal Court (ICC) has not justified the expectations associated with it failing to become a truly independent international judicial body, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Russia has consistently advocated the prosecution of those responsible for the most serious international crimes," the ministry said in connection with a decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin on Russia’s intention not to become a party to the ICC’s Rome Statute. "Our country was one of the originators of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Trials. It took part in drafting the basic documents on combating such serious international crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. For that very reason, Russia voted for the Rome Statute and signed it on September 13, 2000."
"The international community pinned high hopes on the ICC, the first permanent international judicial institution, in the fight against impunity in the context of joint efforts to maintain international peace and security, resolve the existing conflicts and prevent new hotbeds of tension," the Russian Foreign Ministry stated.
"Unfortunately, the court has not justified the expectations associated with it and failed to become a truly independent and authoritative international judicial body," the ministry said. "The court’s inefficient and one-sided work in the cases investigated by it has been noted at various venues, including the UN General Assembly and Security Council. It is indicative that during the 14 years of its work, the ICC passed just 4 sentences spending more than $1 billion."
To that end, Russia understands the African Union’s initiative, which decided to develop coordinated measures for African continent countries’ withdrawal from the Rome Statute, the ministry added.
"Russia’s decision not to become a party to the ICC Rome Statute or, in other words, to withdraw its signature under this document, entails legal consequences envisaged by the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties," the ministry said.
August 2008 events
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Moscow is "concerned about the ICC’s attitude towards the developments of August of 2008."
"The attack on peaceful Tskhinval by Mikheil Saakashvili’s regime and the killing of Russian peacekeepers gave rise to accusations against South Ossetian militia and Russian troops from the ICC," the ministry said. "
The eventual investigation into the actions and orders issued by Georgian officials was deliberately left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and continues to be outside the focus of attention of the ICC Office of the Prosecutor."
"This approach speaks for itself. In these circumstances the International Criminal Court cannot be considered credible."