Russia refused to participate in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The corresponding decree was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Putin also instructed the Russian Foreign Ministry to send a note to UN Secretary General.
The document shows that a proposal to refuse to ratify the Rome Statute initially came from the Ministry of Justice, but the reasons for this decision remain unknown.
Earlier, on November 15, an annual report of the ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda was published, in which she said that Russia’s annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol in 2014 is equivalent to international conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
As Bensouda defined, the armed conflict between the two countries started no later than February 26, 2014. According to the ICC prosecutor, on that date Russia “has involved members of their armed forces to gain control over parts of the territory of Ukraine without the consent of the Government of Ukraine.”
Bensouda regarded the situation in the Crimea as occupation. As she explained, the military conflict may be international if one country is partially or completely occupying the territory of another, regardless of the fact whether the occupation was accompanied by armed resistance.
ICC Rome Statute was ratified by more than 120 countries. Russia signed it in 2000, but has not ratified the document.
Image: Mike Corder / AP