The draft for a presidential decree, available on the internet, would mean that Russia will accept the proposal of the Russian Ministry of Justice in agreement with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other federal bodies of executive power, along with the Russian Supreme Court, the General Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and the Russian Investigative Committee, about sending the Secretary General of the United Nations notice of the intention of the Russian Federation to no longer be a party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
One day after The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague has recognized the annexation of the Crimean peninsula as a military conflict between Russia and Ukraine, and a Russian occupation of Ukrainian territory, the Vladimir Putin administration announced Wednesday its likely response. However, the decree is yet to be signed.
The Rome Statute is the treaty which established the International Criminal Court. Russia originally signed the treaty in 2000. On Tuesday, the ICC released a decision recognizing the existence of an international armed conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which also classified Russia's presence in the Crimean peninsula as a military occupation.
According to information received, the situation in the Crimea and Sevastopol is equivalent to the international armed conflict between Ukraine and the Russian Federation, a preliminary report from ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda stated. This international armed conflict started not later than February 26, when the Russian Federation employed members of its armed forces to gain control over parts of the territory of Ukraine without the consent of the government of Ukraine.
The report goes on to state that the law on international armed conflict applies to the situation in the Crimea since March 18, 2014, and that according to that law, Russia's presence in the Crimea and Sevastopol can be considered an occupation. Russia's presence in the Donbass region of Ukraine also falls under the law, according to the report.
Also listed in the report are several key criminal complaints in connection with the annexation of Crimea, including the oppression of Crimean Tatars, arrests and unfair trials, killings and kidnappings, and forced military service.