Russia expects explanation from Armenia on further relations after joining ICC

Move 'does not have the best effect on bilateral relations,' says Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova

Elena Teslova  | 14.02.2024 - Update : 15.02.2024
Russia expects explanation from Armenia on further relations after joining ICC


Russia expects to receive clarification on relations with Armenia after the latter's accession to the Rome Statute, bringing it under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Wednesday.

"Armenia's accession to the Rome Statute of the International Court of Justice does not have the best effect on bilateral relations, forcing Yerevan to make a choice between Western-dictated obligations under the ICC on the one hand, and political dialogue with Russia, and interaction within the framework of Eurasian integration on the other," she said, responding to a question by Anadolu at a press briefing in Moscow.

"We plan and expect to receive appropriate assurances from our Armenian partners on a bilateral basis," she said.

During an interview with The Telegraph aired on Sunday, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan neither confirmed nor denied that Russian President Vladimir Putin will be arrested should he visit Armenia.

“There are various opinions and legal analyses on that topic, and in particular, the lawyers who say that the current heads of state have immunity, insurmountable immunity, due to their status are not just a few. I mean, it's a legal issue, not a political issue that I have to discuss and respond to,” he said.

Armenia's accession to the Rome Statute on Feb. 1 drew criticism from Russia due to the court’s arrest warrants for Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, presidential commissioner for children's rights, accusing them of the “war crime of unlawful deportation of children” from Ukraine to Russia, which Moscow denies.

The Rome Statute of the ICC, adopted in 1998 in the Italian capital, is the treaty that established the international tribunal seated in The Hague.

Commenting on the latest border escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Zakharova said Moscow is "seriously concerned" about the incident on the border between the Syunik region of Armenia and the Zangelan region of Azerbaijan.

"We urge Baku and Yerevan to show restraint, take steps to de-escalate, and avoid any actions fraught with further degradation of the situation," she said.

The spokeswoman called on sides to resolve differences "exclusively through peaceful, political and diplomatic means."

"We are convinced that territorial disputes should be resolved within the framework of the bilateral Commission on the delimitation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. We are ready to provide advisory assistance to this process," she said.

Azerbaijan’s State Border Service said one of its soldiers was injured due to shots fired by Armenian forces toward the country's southwestern Zangilan district on Monday. The next day, Baku said it carried out a "revenge operation" in response, destroying the combat post from where its servicemen were fired upon.

Turning to the results of the Feb. 11 presidential election in Finland, Zakharova said Russia does not have "any special expectations."

"Due to Finland's confrontational course towards our country, our relations have been damaged beyond repair. Due to the fault of the Finnish side, the potential of mutually beneficial cooperation that has been developed for decades has been destroyed. We hear Russophobic statements from Helsinki, and haven't heard anything else from there," she said.

According to the spokeswoman's assessment, the presidential candidates in Finland "competed in the level of anti-Russian rhetoric."

Former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb won Finland’s election runoff against ex-Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto in a close race.

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