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Lawmaker says Russia's refusal to ratify ICC Rome Statute arises from its biased decisions

Russia's decision to withdraw from the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) arose from the fact that the ICC investigations concerning Russia have been politicized, First Deputy Chairman of Russia's Federation Council Committee on Defense and Security Frants Klintsevich told reporters on Wednesday.

"The resolution signed by Vladimir Putin on Russia's refusal to remain a member of the Rome Statute did not come out of the blue," he said. "Almost all investigations by the ICC concerning Russia have been politicized if not biased," Klintsevich said particularly referring to the ICC's refusal to investigate the 2008 conflict in South Ossetia "seven days after it ended."

"At the same time, officials initiating such investigations don't usually care for their outcome since investigations sometimes last for years, but focus on the investigation process itself," the Russian senator said.

Klintsevich went on to say that "the ICC Prosecutor's report in which Crimea's reunification with Russian was likened to an armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine," was another example of the ICC's biased attitude towards Russia.

According to Alexei Pushkov, the same Committee member, in the 1990s and early 2000s Russia assumed some international obligations "but it turned out that many other countries including the major powers, were not willing to undertake these obligations." According to the senator, the military activities in Yugoslavia involving the US and NATO countries, the occupation of Iraq, NATO's war in Libya and other actions violating international law have shown that Washington and its allies are not willing to take part in establishing a unified system of international law. Moreover, in his words, the US and other Western countries have been violating international law on a regular basis and trying to replace it "with a system of arbitrary international law that would only suit their interests." "The resolution signed by the president is a logical step," Pushkov concluded.

Russia took part in the development of the Rome Statute, a treaty that established the International Criminal Court, adopted at a diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17. 1998. It entered into force on July 1, 2002. Russia signed the document on September 13, 2000.

The International Criminal Court is an international tribunal executing justice on behalf of the world community, it prosecutes individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Each of these definitions is interpreted differently in different countries but the states that join the ICC agree to understand them in the same way.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 16Nov16]

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