In the light of current events in the Middle East and East Europe, the news from Armenia, which contributes to the geopolitical movements in the Central Asian region, has somewhat escaped attention.
Last Saturday, Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturian, despite warnings from Russia, signed the ratification of the Rome Statute, on the basis of which the International Criminal Court (ICC) was created.
The president’s office issued a statement saying that the president signed the agreement as “retroactive recognition of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court by the Republic of Armenia.”
According to the Armenian Constitutional Court, the obligations established by the Rome Statute are in accordance with the basic laws of the country. This happened after the ICC in The Hague issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Commissioner for Children’s Rights, Maria Lvovova-Belova, on suspicion of war crimes in connection with the forced deportation of children from the occupied territories of Ukraine to Russia.
“Decisions of this kind are extremely hostile from our point of view,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. According to Armenian Prime Minister Pashinyan, the ratification of this document has nothing to do with relations between Armenia and Russia but is related to the security of Armenia. However, it is obvious that Armenia did not like the actions of the contingent of Russian troops in the region of Nagorno-Karabakh inhabited by Armenians, which, after a short so-called anti-terorist operation, has been taken under control by Azerbaijan.
For Putin, the ICC warrant means that if he enters the territory of Armenia, which is a signatory to the Rome Statute, then that country would have an obligation to arrest him.
Russia does not recognize the jurisdiction of the ICC. As of 2016, it is not a party to the Rome Statute. In turn, the ICC does not recognize the immunity of heads of state in the investigation and punishment of war crimes.
The conclusion is clear. Armenia moves away from Russia and gradually becomes part of the Western democratic space.