Washington, 1 July 2003 (RFE/RL) -- The United States has suspended military assistance to more than 30 nations which have failed thus far or have refused to sign agreements with the U.S. giving Americans immunity from prosecution by the International Criminal Court (ICC). The deadline for signing the immunity agreements with the U.S. expired today. Under U.S. law, NATO members as well as U.S.-designated "major non-NATO allies" are exempted from the sanctions.
U.S. President George W. Bush today exempted 22 other nations because they signed the immunity deals or because it was in the U.S. national interest.
The list includes Albania, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Macedonia and Romania, all of which have signed exemption agreements with Washington.
Officials said countries not appearing on the waiver list and which have ratified the ICC treaty are subject to aid suspension. But the exact amount of aid to be withheld was not immediately clear as the suspension affects assistance for fiscal year 2003 that has not been spent already
The White House did not release the names of the countries affected by the sanctions, but there are at least 31 countries that qualify for them. Those nations include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, and Slovenia -- all of which are set to join NATO.