Following the lead of the United States and the recent examples of South Africa and Gambia, The Russian Federation has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court.
The Russian Foreign Ministry released the following statement:
Russia has been consistently advocating prosecuting those responsible for the most serious international crimes. Our country was at the origins of the Nuremberg and Tokyo tribunals, participated in the development of the basic documents on the fight against genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. These were the reasons why Russia voted for the adoption of the Rome Statute and signed it on September 13, 2000.
Unfortunately the Court failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal. The work of the Court is characterized in a principled way as ineffective and one-sided in different fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is worth noting that during the 14 years of the Court’s work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars.
The statement clearly expresses disappointment and exasperation with a court that is international in name only.
I have recently written about institutional racism at the court and the anti-Serb bias at its parallel organisation, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. These parallel phenomena make it clear that the structure and mentality of the ICC is not fit for its purpose, in spite of being created with the best of intentions.
Despite having withdrawn from the Court, Russia continues to support the intentions and spirit in which the ICC was created under the Rome Statue of 1998.
The statement from the Russian Foreign Ministry also says this:
The Russian Federation cannot be indifferent to the Court’s attitude vis-a-vis the situation of August 2008. The Saakashvili regime’s attack on peaceful Tshinval, the assassination of the Russian peacekeepers resulted in the Court’s accusations against South-ossetian militia and Russian soldiers. Eventual investigation of actions and orders of Georgian officials was left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and remains outside of the focus of the ICC Prosecutor’s office attention. This development speaks for itself. We can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation.
This is a reference to the ethnic cleansing of Russians in South Ossetia in 2008 by the then Georgian regime of Mikhail Saakashvili.
The international criminal court has turned into a racist farce. When certain, often minor grievances are considered but the profound issues of geopolitical criminality ranging from the Saudi and Qatari funding of Islamic terrorism to the illegal western invasions of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya, Syria and others are totally ignored, the ICC cannot claim to act as a genuine voice for international justice.
With both the United States and Russia out of the ICC, the organisation has lost its purpose. It has officially become ineffective. Time to go back to the drawing board.