By Chris King • 28 March 2023 • 0:32
Image of the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation has called Armenia’s plans to accede to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ‘absolutely unacceptable’. Coming against the backdrop of an arrest warrant President Vladimir Putin issued last week by the court in The Hague.
With reference to a source in the Russian Foreign Ministry, TASS quoted a source as saying: “Moscow considers absolutely unacceptable the plans of Yerevan to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court against the backdrop of the recent illegal and legally void ‘warrants’ of the ICC against the Russian leadership”.
The interlocutor of the agency also drew attention to the fact that the Armenian side was warned ‘about the extremely negative’ consequences of Yerevan’s possible steps for bilateral relations.
On March 24, the Constitutional Court of Armenia recognised the obligations under the Rome Statute of the ICC as constitutional. This decision comes into force from the moment of its publication. After that, the Rome Statute must be ratified in the Armenian Parliament.
Yeghishe Kirakosyan, Armenia’s representative on international legal issues, explained the country’s accession to the Rome Statute by the fact that the ICC obliged Azerbaijan to unblock the Lachin corridor.
In response, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin Press Secretary, said that Moscow had not yet discussed its position with Yerevan in connection with the recognition by the Constitutional Court of Armenia of the obligations enshrined in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.
Arman Abovyan, a member of the national assembly of the country, expressed confidence that even if the Rome Statute is ratified by the Parliament, no one ‘in their right mind’ in Armenia would arrest Putin.
Countries that recognise the jurisdiction of the ICC – of which there are 123 – are obliged to comply with the regulations, decisions, and orders of this body. Armenia signed the Rome Statute in 1999 but has never ratified it. In 2004, the Constitutional Court of the country recognised it as inconsistent with the Basic Law.
On March 17, the pre-trial chamber of the ICC in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Presidential Commissioner for Children’s Rights Maria Lvova-Belova, as reported by gazeta.ru.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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