Kremlin dubs Armenia's decision to ratify Rome Statute 'incorrect'

Spokesman Peskov says Armenia remains 'partner' and 'friendly state' for Russia, but there are concerns about the country's current leadership

Elena Teslova  | 03.10.2023 - Update : 03.10.2023
Kremlin dubs Armenia's decision to ratify Rome Statute 'incorrect'


Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday that Armenia's decision to ratify the Rome Statute, bringing it under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Hague, is "incorrect."

"We doubt and have doubted from the very beginning that from the point of view of bilateral relations, Armenia's accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court is correct. We still believe that this is an incorrect decision," Peskov said at a news conference in Moscow.

He was referring to the Armenian parliament ratifying the Rome Statute earlier in the day, sending a negative signal to its ally Russia.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), adopted in 1998 in Italy's capital, is the treaty that established the International Criminal Court. Over 120 states are currently parties to the statute.

In March, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin, accusing him of illegally deporting hundreds of children from Ukraine. Moscow has denied the accusation.

The spokesman pointed out that Armenia remains a "partner" and a "friendly state" for Russia, but there are concerns about the country's current leadership.

"Our contacts are constantly going on at different levels, and we are going to have serious conversations on this topic. We need to look for some kind of diplomatic solution in this regard," he said.

Specifically, it will be necessary to understand if the Rome Statute prevails over international law in Armenia and whether there are provisions for exceptions, he noted.

"We would not like (our) president to have to refuse visits to Armenia one day for some reason," Peskov said, referring to the ICC warrant for Putin's arrest.

Peskov rejected Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s reasoning for joining the Rome Statute, according to which, the decision was made due to the insufficiency of mechanisms for the country's protection within the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and the Russian-Armenian military cooperation.

The official emphasized that Pashinyan himself decided to recognize Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan, which led to the current situation in the region.

"One should always remember the decision of Mr. Pashinyan, which he made in Prague, to recognize the borders of Azerbaijan as of 1991. Accordingly, he recognized the territory of Karabakh as the territory of Azerbaijan. This is the forerunner of the whole situation that is now," he stressed.

Moscow is concerned about the fate of the Karabakh Armenians, closely monitors the observance of their rights by Azerbaijan, and also continues to provide humanitarian assistance, he noted.

"Our hearts continue to ache for the Karabakh Armenians. We are listening attentively to the statements of our Azerbaijani friends about their intention to ensure the security and all the rights of those Armenians who wish to stay in Karabakh. We provide humanitarian assistance," he said.

Russia continues to observe moratorium on nuclear tests

In response to media reports that Russia conducted nuclear tests, Peskov said journalists should "examine more carefully" satellite photos before drawing conclusions.

The spokesman also noted that he considers discussions about conducting nuclear tests at the official level "inappropriate," since the Russian Federation observes the moratorium on nuclear tests.

Concerning Russian currency fluctuations against the US dollar, Peskov said the Central Bank and the government "fully ensure macroeconomic stability," and that excessive attention to dollar fluctuations is a "vestige of the past."

When asked about the dates of Putin's visit to North Korea, the Kremlin spokesman said he "is not going to North Korea yet, he has an invitation, he accepted it with gratitude."

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un invited Putin to visit his country during his trip to Russia in September.

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