Yugoslav war crimes court wins praise from many _ not Russia

The U.N. war crimes tribunal for former Yugoslavia is closing after 24 years and it's getting praise from its president, the U.S. and many Security Council members — but not from Russia, which calls it biased and anti-Serb.

At a council meeting Wednesday before it closes Dec. 31, the tribunal's president, Judge Carmel Aguis, said the court has written "a very important page in the history of international justice and the fight against impunity."

The tribunal was the first international court since post-World War II to prosecute allegations of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.

Deputy U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison said that "it established key precedents in international criminal law."

But Russia's deputy ambassador, Petr Iliichev, said many of its decisions "have discredited the very idea of international justice."