President Vladimir Putin signed an executive order on Wednesday removing Russia's signature from the International Criminal Court's founding treaty, piling pressure on a court that is already reeling from withdrawals by some African countries.
Moscow never ratified the treaty, which it signed in 2000, meaning it never became a member subject to its jurisdiction. But the symbolic move coincided with the opening day of the general assembly of member states.
On Monday, the ICC angered Moscow by referring to Russia's 2014 annexation of Ukraine's Crimea as an armed conflict. It is also examining allegations of war crimes committed by Russian and Georgian forces during a brief 2008 war.
"Unfortunately, the court has not justified the hopes attached to it and has not become a genuinely independent authoritative organ of international justice," the Foreign Ministry said.
"It is revealing that in its 14 years of work the ICC has pronounced just four verdicts and spent over $1 billion."