Russia says Armenia’s move to join International Criminal Court is ‘wrong’

Armenian lawmakers had earlier Tuesday approved a key step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was expected to escalate tensions with the ex-Soviet country’s historic ally Moscow.

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The Kremlin on Tuesday criticized a decision by Armenia’s parliament to move towards joining the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant for Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“We are doubtful that from the point of view of bilateral relations, Armenia’s accession to the Rome Statute is correct. We still believe that it is the wrong decision,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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Armenian lawmakers had earlier Tuesday approved a key step towards joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), which was expected to escalate tensions with the ex-Soviet country’s historic ally Moscow.

Russia had warned Armenia against voting to ratify the founding treaty of the ICC, after the international court in March issued an arrest warrant for Putin over the war in Ukraine and the illegal deportation of children to Russia.

ICC members are expected to make the arrest if the Russian leader steps foot on their territory.

The vote illustrated a growing chasm between Moscow and Yerevan, which has grown angry with the Kremlin over its perceived inaction over Armenia’s long-standing confrontation with Azerbaijan.

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has suggested that his country will seek alliances elsewhere.

But the Kremlin reiterated Tuesday that Armenia has no alternative to a Moscow-led security alliance known as the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

“I think that most people in Armenia realize that the CSTO instruments are absolutely irreplaceable,” Peskov said. “The Armenian side has nothing better than these mechanisms, we are sure of that.”

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