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Russian ally sides with war crimes tribunal — RT Russia and the former Soviet Union

ICC statute is in line with Armenian constitution, Yerevan top court says

Armenia can ratify the Rome Statute and become a signatory party to the International Criminal Court, the Constitutional Court in Yerevan decided on Friday. The decision comes just a week after the ICC announced it would indict Russian President Vladimir Putin with a war crime.

Chief Justice Arman Dilanyan paved the way for parliament to ratify the Rome Statute, ruling that it does not conflict with the Armenian constitution.

Asked about the decision, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Yerevan had not clarified its position.

“Not yet,” said Peskov. “We will discuss it with our partners.

Joining the ICC could force Yerevan to arrest Putin if he goes to Armenia, which is currently in a military alliance with Moscow. The Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) also includes Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

Moscow had brokered a ceasefire in the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, during which Azerbaijan came close to retaking all of the Armenian-majority territory. Russian peacekeepers are currently patrolling the only road linking Armenia to the region, while Yerevan and Baku accuse each other of ceasefire violations along their common border.

Acting on the recommendation of a number of NATO countries, the ICC last week issued an arrest warrant for Putin and Russian children’s rights commissioner Maria Lvova-Belova. They were accused of “forced population transfer” in reference to the evacuation of thousands of children from the combat zone in the former Ukrainian regions who voted last September to join Russia.

The United States and its allies have refused to recognize the vote and insist that these are “busy” Ukrainian territories. Meanwhile, Kyiv’s armed forces shelled residential areas in these regions, often with NATO-supplied weapons.

Moscow is not a party to the Rome Statute and has rejected the ICC’s mandate as devoid of any authority or legitimacy. Russian authorities have also brought criminal charges against the ICC’s chief prosecutor and three judges involved in the warrant.

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