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ICC Rome statute to be ratified in full, move unrelated to Russia — Armenian PM

"This is not an anti-Russia move, but is related to our security issues," Nikol Pashinyan specified

YEREVAN, September 13. /TASS/. Armenia’s authorities are determined to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in full, but this move is not related to Russia, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan told the parliament.

"The government has submitted the Rome Statute to the parliament, as we made a political decision to ratify it in full. This is not an anti-Russia move, but is related to our security issues," he said.

Touching upon the ratification of the Rome Statute, Pashinyan said earlier that Armenia was planning to ask the International Criminal Court to hold Azerbaijan accountable, in particular for the September 2022 events and other cases.

Earlier, a source with the Russian Foreign Ministry told TASS that Russia had warned Armenia about extremely negative implications for relations with Russia if Yerevan joined the Rome Statute. The Foreign Ministry also added that Moscow considers Armenia’s plans to join the ICC Rome Statute unacceptable against the backdrop of "warrants" targeting the Russian leadership.

The Rome Statute

The Rome Statute is an international treaty that established the International Criminal Court. It is also its Charter. The document was adopted at the diplomatic conference in Rome on July 17, 1998 and went into effect on July 1, 2002. It outlines the functions, jurisdiction and structure of the court (which is not part of the UN).

The ICC prosecutes individuals for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and acts of aggression. The amendment on crimes of aggression was passed in December 2017. The ICC exercises jurisdiction only over crimes committed after July 1, 2002 on the territory of a state party and nationals of state parties on the territory of any other country. If a crime is committed in a state that is not a party to the Statute or its nationals are suspected of grave crimes, the UN Security Council can issue a mandate to launch a criminal investigation.

States that are not parties to the ICC and seek to investigate crimes committed on their soil can issue a special statement to recognize the court’s jurisdiction over a crime. The UN Security Council can suspend the court’s work and any arrest warrants it issues. The ICC has jurisdiction only over individuals. The court can sentence a person to 30 years or even life in prison, but is prohibited from imposing the death penalty.