The International Criminal Court building is seen in The Hague, Netherlands, January 16, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

YEREVAN — Armenia formally joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday four months after its parliament ratified the court’s founding.

“ICC Rome Statute officially entered into force for Armenia on February 1,” Armenia’s official representative for international legal matters, Yeghishe Kirakosyan told AFP.

“Joining the ICC gives Armenia serious tools to prevent war crimes and crimes against humanity on its territory,” Kirakosyan said.

Armenia’s Constitutional Court gave the green light for the ratification last March. The Armenian government pushed the treaty, also known as the Rome Statute, through the National Assembly on October 3.

On 17 March 2023, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia, after an investigation of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide in Ukraine. The ICC arrest warrant for Putin accuses the Russian leader of unlawfully deporting thousands of Ukrainian children, a war crime. This has been denied by the Russian government. Countries that are signatories to the Rome Statute would have to enforce the arrest warrant once Putin travels into their territory. Earlier the Russian Foreign Ministry described it as an ‘unfriendly step’ and asked for explanations.

Armenian government officials have numerously said that ratifying the Rome Statute has nothing to do with Russia and is aimed at holding Azerbaijan to account for its aggression against Armenia.

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