ON SPOTLIGHT: Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russia has announced it is formally withdrawing its signature from the founding statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), saying the tribunal has failed to live up to the hopes of the international community.

In 2000, Russia signed the Rome Statute setting up the ICC, the world’s first permanent war crimes court, but never ratified the treaty.

Russia’s foreign ministry said in a statement it is withdrawing its signature on President Vladimir Putin’s orders.

“The court did not live up to the hopes associated with it and did not become truly independent,” Russia’s foreign ministry said, describing its work as ‘one-sided and inefficient’.

Moscow said it was unhappy with the ICC’s treatment of the case on Russia’s short war with its neighbour Georgia in 2008, saying the court ignored aggression by Tbilisi against civilians in South Ossetia – a pro-Moscow separatist region of Georgia.

“In these conditions one cannot speak of trust in the International Criminal Court,” the ministry said, adding that the decision to ‘not be a participant in the ICC statute’ was taken by President Putin and entails ‘withdrawing the signature from this document’.

“The court did not live up to the hopes associated with it and did not become truly independent,” Russia’s foreign ministry said, describing its work as “one-sided and inefficient”.

Moscow said it was unhappy with the ICC’s treatment of the case on Russia’s short war with its neighbour Georgia in 2008, saying the court ignored aggression by Tbilisi against civilians in South Ossetia – a pro-Moscow separatist region of Georgia.