Armenia won’t arrest Putin despite ratification of Rome Statute, vice speaker says

2 April, 11:01 PM
Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin (Photo:Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS)

Kremlin dictator Vladimir Putin (Photo:Sputnik/Gavriil Grigorov/Pool via REUTERS)

Yerevan has listened to the Kremlin's "concerns" and will not detain Russian President Vladimir Putin – even after Armenia’s ratification of the Rome Statute, Vice Speaker of the Armenian Parliament Hakob Arshakyan said in an interview with Armenpress on April 1.

He noted that while Armenia had signed the Rome Statute back in 1998, it hasn’t been ratified due to a 2004 Constitutional Court decision that said that the statute was unconstitutional.

However, on March 24, 2023, the country's Constitutional Court recognized that the Rome Statute was, indeed, in line with the Armenian Constitution.

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Following the court's decision, MP Gagik Melkonyan, a member of the ruling faction, said that Armenia should detain Putin after ratifying the Rome Statute.

Melkonyan was prompted to make his statement by similar reports in the Russian press, Arshakyan said.

"Of course, the ruling party and the team have no such intention or desire (to detain dictator Putin)," the vice speaker said.

Arshakyan also stated that Armenia does not want to harm its strategic relations with Russia.

"One thing is clear: we have heard the concerns expressed by the Russian Federation, and I think we will be able to ensure that the further process related to the Rome Statute does not harm the strategic relations between Armenia and Russia," he said.

The International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants on March 17 for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin and Russia’s children’s ombudsperson, Maria Lvova-Belova, for their involvement in the unlawful kidnapping of children from Ukraine to the Russian Federation since Feb. 24, 2022.

The Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office has documented the deportation of over 16,000 children from Donetsk, Luhansk, Kharkiv, and Kherson oblasts, but the actual number could be much higher. Ukraine has only been able to return 308 children to their homes.

Ukraine's Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin, stated that Putin can be arrested in the 123 countries that have ratified the Rome Statute, which established the ICC. All EU countries, including Germany, are signatories.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova and Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov have argued that the arrest warrant is "legally null and void" because Russia is not a party to the Rome Statute.

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