Tuesday, April 16, 2024

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If President Putin were to visit Armenia, he would face arrest due to the support of lawmakers for the country’s entry into the International Criminal Court (ICC).


Armenia has accepted the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court after lawmakers on Tuesday ratified its founding documents, effectively obliging the former Soviet republic to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever returns to the country.

On Tuesday, members of parliament voted to ratify the Rome Statute, with 60 MPs in favor and 20 opposition MPs against. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan of Armenia expressed confidence last week that there was enough support for the decision, despite strong opposition from Moscow, a long-standing ally of Yerevan.

On Thursday, Dmitry Peskov, the press secretary for the Kremlin, stated that acknowledging the authority of The Hague court would be considered highly antagonistic. This is due to the fact that the court has issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest on allegations of war crimes related to Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

Peskov stated that Armenia is aware of the decision made based on the [Rome Statute] and that we are not involved in it.

Pashinyan has emphasized that the choice is not targeting Russia, but is essential in safeguarding the nation under international regulations amidst the intense conflict with neighboring Azerbaijan.

In March, the court issued warrants for Putin and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging their participation in the abduction and forced removal of children from Ukraine since the start of Moscow’s large-scale invasion last year. Although Ukraine has not signed the Rome Statute, they have given the court authority to investigate war crimes committed during the conflict.

Although Russia has completely refused to acknowledge the warrants, they have posed challenges for Putin’s travel arrangements. In July, the Russian leader had to cancel his attendance at a summit with leaders from developing nations in South Africa, a country that has also approved the Rome Statute.