Russia considers “absolutely unacceptable” Armenia’s possible accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and has already warned the Armenian authorities about the “extremely negative consequences” for bilateral relations in the event of such a step. This is reported by the state news agencies TASS and RIA Novosti with reference to sources in the Russian Foreign Ministry.
On March 17, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges of war crimes in Ukraine. According to the statutory documents, the countries that have ratified the Rome Statute of the ICC (there are currently 123 of them) are obliged to arrest Putin if he appears on their territories. The Kremlin called the issued arrest warrant “illegal” and “legally void”, threatening to declare war on the country in whose territory the Russian president would be detained.
On March 24, the Constitutional Court of Armenia recognized the obligations enshrined in the Rome Statute as corresponding to the country’s constitution. The next step should be ratification in Parliament.
The Armenian authorities emphasize that they launched the ratification process at the end of 2022 in order to bring the leadership of Azerbaijan to justice in the ICC in the future for war crimes during the armed conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh. Russia in the conflict acts as a peacekeeping party, and according to a number of experts, it is one of the main deterrents preventing Azerbaijan from launching a large-scale military operation against Armenia.
Last Saturday, the Russian Ministry of Defense accused the Azerbaijani military of violating the ceasefire agreements in Nagorno-Karabakh reached in 2020 between Yerevan and Baku mediated by Moscow. As stated in the message of the department, a unit of the armed forces of Azerbaijan “crossed the line of contact between the parties in the Shusha region, occupied a height … and proceeded to the engineering equipment of the post.” The Russian side demanded that the Azerbaijani military return to their previous positions.
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