Armenia rebuffs Russia's assertion that ratification of Rome Statute relates to Putin
Vladimir Putin (Photo: EPA)

Armenia's parliamentary commission issued a positive opinion on the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) submitted for ratification, reported the local news agency ArmInfo. The Kremlin called this decision "extremely hostile".

In March, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, and any country that ratified the Statute must arrest the Russian leader if he appears on its territory.

Armenia said that the ratification was related to the country's relations with Azerbaijan, not with the Russian Federation.

Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia's representative on international legal issues, said that the ratification of this document will allow the ICC to initiate proceedings against Azerbaijan for alleged war crimes committed in the self-proclaimed Nagorno-Karabakh.

"Without this document, Armenia practically had no mechanisms to bring Baku to justice," the official said.

Yerevan notes that the ratification of the document is not directed against Russia.

Vladimir Vardanyan, the head of the commission of the Armenian parliament on state-legal relations, stated that the ratification of the Statute "in no way" affects Armenia's relations with Moscow, Russian media quotes him.

"Taking into account the fact that we have done quite a lot of work so that nothing threatens the bilateral alliance relations after the ratification of the document," the official said.

Earlier, the Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, also stressed that the ratification of the Rome Statute has nothing to do with relations with Russia.

The press secretary of the Russian dictator Dmitry Peskov said that the Krmelin does not welcome Armenia's intention to join the Rome Statute.

He called this decision of Armenia "extremely hostile" to the Russian Federation in a comment to Russian media.

According to Peskov, Armenia "knows full well" that Russia is not a party to the Statute, and "knows full well" about the decision of this court to issue a warrant for the arrest of Putin.

He also said that he did not know the details of the bilateral agreement proposed by Armenia with the Russian Federation for a legal decision regarding the Rome Statute.

Peskov added that the Russian dictator is not planning a visit to Armenia in the near future.

Armenia and the Russian Federation are in the same military alliance – the Collective Security Treaty Organization. Russian military bases operate on the territory of Armenia.

On March 17, 2023, the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Putin and the Children's Ombudsperson of the Russian Federation, Maria Lvova-Belova, for the deportation of children from Ukraine. The warrant issued in The Hague has no expiry date.

More than 40 countries around the world supported the arrest warrant for the Russian dictator and gave $4.9 million to support the ICC in its investigations of war crimes in Ukraine.