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Armenian president signs ratification of ICC membership, must arrest Putin if he visits

Flag of Armenia
Flag of Armenia

Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan approved the parliament’s decision to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), the Armenian President's press service reported on Oct. 13.

Last week, Armenia’s parliament voted to join the ICC by ratifying the Rome Statute. Countries that have ratified it are bound to arrest Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, who was indicted for war crimes connected to the deportation of children from Ukraine.

Read also: PACE recognizes Russia as dictatorship, recommends states cease all contacts with Putin

Armenia signed the Rome Statute back in 1999 but had not ratified it until now.

In an unprecedented move, the International Criminal Court (ICC) called for the arrest of a sitting head of a permanent member of the UN Security Council after the court issued an arrest warrant for Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, the ICC said in a press release on March 17. There are reasonable grounds to believe that Putin bears responsibility for the war crime of unlawful deportation of the population from occupied areas of Ukraine to the Russian Federation, the ICC said.

Read also: Armenian PM claims his country not Russia’s ally in war against Ukraine, Kremlin reacts

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin emphasized that now the Kremlin head is officially suspected of committing an international crime — the illegal forced transfer of Ukrainian children. “This means that Putin should be arrested and brought to court outside of Russia,” he wrote on Facebook.

The ICC's decision implies no negotiations with the current Russian elite and no lifting of sanctions, the Ukrainian President’s Office said.

Russia, in response, initiated criminal cases against ICC prosecutors and judges as expected.

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Read the original article on The New Voice of Ukraine