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News > Armenia

Armenia Ratifies ICC Rome Statute

  • The Rome Statute of the ICC was approved with 60 votes in favor and 22 against. Oct. 3, 2023.

    The Rome Statute of the ICC was approved with 60 votes in favor and 22 against. Oct. 3, 2023. | Photo: X/@AndyVermaut

Published 3 October 2023

Russia considers Armenia's ratification to be an ill-considered step in terms of bilateral relations.

The Armenian parliament approved on Tuesday the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) with 60 votes in favor and 22 against.

Some Keys to Understanding the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict

Armenia's state-run news agency Armenpress reported that following the ratification, the document is to be signed by the country's president and go into effect in 60 days after the completion of internal state procedures.

MP Sargis Khandanyan, chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Foreign Affairs, said that the move is in the national interests of Armenia which is taking all steps to ensure its security. The official noted that this has nothing to do with Yerevan's relations with Russia.

According to Armenia’s representative for international legal issues Yeghishe Kirakosyan the ratification of the Rome Statute was directed against Azerbaijan’s military personnel who had committed war crimes on the territory of Armenia. 

For its part, Moscow has considered Armenia's effort to ratify the Rome Statute an "unfriendly step." For this reason, the Russian Foreign Ministry summoned Armenia's ambassador last month.

Following the ratification, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed Russia's rejection of this move detrimental to bilateral relations.

"We doubt - and we have harbored doubts about this from the very start - that Armenia’s move to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is a sound decision in terms of bilateral relations. We still believe that it was an ill-considered decision," Peskov said. 

He furthermore recognized Armenia as a friendly country and a partner for Russia. "We definitely have a lot in common that ties us to the fraternal Armenian people. We have no doubt that these common ties will link us forever. However, we now of course have some additional questions that we must address to Armenia’s current leadership. They were sent to Armenia earlier," the spokesman added. 

Russia Does Not Recognize ICC Jurisdiction

The Rome Statute is an international treaty that created the International Criminal Court and also its Charter. It outlines the functions, jurisdiction and structure of the court, not part of the UN.

The ICC, based in The Hague, has issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian presidential commissioner for children's rights Maria Lvova-Belova, alleging that they were responsible for "illegal deportation" of Ukrainian children. 

Moscow rejected the charges, claiming that Russia did not recognize the ICC's jurisdiction and considered the court's decision to be legally void.

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