V- Moscow's touchy vigilance

04 December 2006 by Maria Kolesnikova

The Federation of Russia maintains verbal support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) and still considers ratification of the Rome Statute to be its "strategic goal." Yet, Moscow says it needs to adapt its legislation and to monitor the court's operation before it can ratify the Statute. However, the political will to ratify has been waning in the past few years. Moreover, as the conflict in Chechnya looms over the debate, Russia foresees more losses than gains from joining the ICC.

"Russia has high hopes for the International Criminal Court. We hope that the work of this judicial body will contribute considerably to fighting impunity worldwide", Vitaly Churkin, Russia's special envoy to the UN, told the General Assembly on October 2, 2006. He then went on to voice Russia's concern about how the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) operates, criticizing it for its high cost and alleged political bias. "In our view, the experience of international justice can't be called fully successful," he concluded.

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