Monday, April 15, 2024

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The Russian government cautions Armenia against becoming a member of the International Criminal Court.


The Kremlin has cautioned that Armenia’s intention to join the International Criminal Court could escalate tensions with Russia, as it would require the country to detain President Vladimir Putin if he were to visit in the future.

On Thursday, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov addressed the media and stated that if Russia were to join the international legal pact in the midst of the International Criminal Court’s warrant for Putin’s arrest on war crimes charges, it would be perceived as a hostile action.

“Armenia knows very well that we are not parties to the [Rome Statute], and Armenia is well aware of the difficult decision adopted on the basis of this statute,” he cautioned.

The Prime Minister of Armenia, Nikol Pashinyan, has been working towards building stronger relationships with Western countries in order to reduce reliance on Moscow. He expressed confidence that the Armenian parliament will approve the Rome Statute and recognize the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. He stressed that joining the court is solely for the benefit of Armenia’s security, and not meant to be against Russia.

Armenia’s justice minister, Grigor Minasyan, believes that this action is crucial in order to hold Azerbaijan responsible for their supposed acts of military aggression and war crimes. This comes as ethnic Armenians are fleeing the disputed area of Nagorno-Karabakh. The ethnic Armenian leaders within Azerbaijan’s recognized borders surrendered after a sudden attack last Wednesday.

Over 68,000 individuals have left the area, taking with them whatever belongings they could fit into vehicles such as cars, buses, and even trucks with open tops.

In March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued warrants for the arrest of Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights. The warrants were issued due to their involvement in the abduction and forced deportation of children from Ukraine since the beginning of Russia’s invasion last year. Although Kyiv is not a signatory to the Rome Statute, they have given the ICC authority to investigate war crimes committed during the conflict.

Despite facing criticism from anti-Putin demonstrators who accuse him of neglecting the nation, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made multiple visits to Armenia, which remains a formal ally of Russia and is a member of the Moscow-led CSTO military alliance.

In a recent interview with POLITICO, Pashinyan stated that the recent events in Ukraine have shifted the power dynamics of Russia. He emphasized the need for Armenia to strengthen its own independence rather than relying on Moscow for security.