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Putin Withdraws Signature from International Criminal Court


Russian President Vladimir Putin heads a meeting with senior military officials at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia, Nov. 16, 2016.

President Vladimir Putin has decided Russia is out of the International Criminal Court.

Putin signed a decree Wednesday removing the country from the first legal body with permanent international jurisdiction to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.

Putin's decree was published on the Kremlin's website and a statement from Russia's foreign ministry said, "The court did not live up to the hopes associated with it and did not become truly independent.”

According to reports, Moscow is not “happy” with the way the ICC has treated Russia’s war with Georgia in 2008, adding it failed to see the actions by the Tbilisi government against civilians in South Ossetia - a pro-Moscow region.

“In these conditions we cannot speak of trust in the international criminal court,” the ministry said.

The decree comes a day after the U.N. General Assembly's human rights committee backed a decision condemning Russia's “temporary occupation of Crimea.”

Russia annexed Crimea in March 2014 from Ukraine followed by a referendum. In the past two years, Russia has adopted a more assertive foreign policy: First with its takeover of Crimea and support of Ukrainian separatist rebels, and second, with its intervention in Syria on behalf of the Bashar al-Assad regime.

Although Putin signed the Rome treaty that established the Hague-based court in 2000, he never ratified it. The ICC opened in July 2002 and has 124 member states.

Some material for this report came from AP and AFP.

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