Russia says it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) under a directive signed by President Vladimir Putin.
The Russian Foreign Ministry said the ICC had "failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal," in a statement released Wednesday.
It described the ICC as "ineffective," adding that "during the 14 years of the court's work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars."
Russia also criticized the court's handling of the country's five-day conflict with neighboring Georgia
in 2008, saying "we can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation."
ICC spokesman Fadi El Abdallah said in a statement that "membership of the Rome Statute is a voluntary and sovereign decision which is the prerogative of all states," adding "the ICC is respectful of each states' sovereignty."
Under Wednesday's directive, President Putin instructed his Ministry of Foreign Affairs to inform the UN Secretary General that Russia no longer intends to become a state party to the Rome Statute, the treaty that established the ICC.