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Grisha Balasanyan

Pashinyan Confident Parliament Will Ratify Rome Statue

Armenian PM Nikol Pashinyan today, during a Q&A parliamentary session, said he believes the National Assembly will ratify the Rome Statute on the International Criminal Court (ICC) and that it has nothing to do with Armenia-Russia relations, but relates to Armenia's security.

The Rome Statute is the treaty that established the ICC with jurisdiction over certain international crimes, including genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.  Armenia signed the Rome Statute in 1999 but has not ratified it.

Armenia’s Constitutional Court initially found that the Statue did not comply with the country’s 1995 constitution and then, in March 2023, found the Statue complied with the newly amended constitution.

Armenian Minister of Justice Grigor Minasyan said it was necessary to ratify the Rome Statute due to military aggression by Azerbaijan, a country that has not signed or ratified the Rome Statute.

Moscow has warned Armenia not to ratify the Statue. One reason is   Russian President Vladimir Putin would not be allowed into Armenia as local law enforcement would be obligated to detain him according to the ICC issued arrest warrant against him.

 The Armenian government argues it can use the ICC to hold Azerbaijan accountable for what it regards as “war crimes” and attacks against Armenia.

Many believe Armenia’s ratification of the Statue will further undermine relations between Yerevan and Moscow.

Pashinyan’s Civil Contract faction holds a majority of seats in the legislature and can ratify the Statue on its own.

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