October 18, 2023

Armenia Joins ICC against Putin's Wishes


Armenia Joins ICC against Putin's Wishes
Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan. En Mayúscula, Twitter.

Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan recently approved his parliament's decision to ratify the 1998 Rome Statute, allowing Armenia to officially join the International Criminal Court (ICC). The move further strained Armenia's ties with Russia, as the International Tribunal for War Crimes is the body that issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin .

Armenia began the process of ratification of the Rome Statute in 2004. However, the procedure was halted due to claims it violated the country's constitution. In late 2022, Armenia restarted the process, against Russian wishes.

Meanwhile, in March 2023, the ICC ordered Putin's arrest for the deportation of Ukrainian children in occupied territories. In April, the vice president of the Armenian Parliament, Hakob Arshakyan, said that Armenia doesn't plan to arrest Putin if he were to visit the country.

This past week, Putin visited Kyrgyzstan for the Commonwealth of Independent States Summit. Armenian representatives did not attend the gathering.

Armenia's decision to join the ICC was a response to Azerbaijan's military operation in the disputed Armenian-majority region of Nagorno Karabakh, also called Artsakh by Armenians. The operation killed 200 civilians and injured 400. Over 100,000 ethnic Armenians have fled to Armenia. Yerevan now plans to summon Azerbaijani authorities to The Hague.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has expressed concern that Azerbaijan could launch a full-scale invasion of Armenia soon.

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