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Armenian PM says has no authority to arrest Putin if he comes to his country

After 2018 Armenia has had extensive democratic reforms, Nikol Pashinyan said
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan
© Dmitry Astakhov/POOL/TASS

YEREVAN, February 11. /TASS/. Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan has said that he has no authority to make any decisions concerning the arrest of these or those people, including Russian President Vladimir Putin, on the International Criminal Court’s (ICC) warrants.

"After 2018 Armenia has had extensive democratic reforms. And I don’t decide whom to arrest and whom not to arrest," he said in an interview with The Telegraph when asked whether Armenian police would arrest Putin on the ICC warrant should he visit his country.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued arrest warrants for Russian President Vladimir Putin and Maria Lvova-Belova, the Russian presidential commissioner for children's rights, on charges of alleged involvement in war crimes, such as "illegal deportation of the population," including children, and their illegal transfer to Russia.

On March 20, Russia’s Investigative Committee opened a criminal case against ICC Prosecutor Karim Ahmad Khan and judges Rosario Salvatore Aitala, Sergio Gerardo Ugalde Godinez and Tomoko Akane for taking knowingly illegal action, as there were no grounds for bringing the Russian president and children's ombudsman to criminal responsibility. In May, charges were brought against Karim Khan and Rosario Aitala. Both were put on the wanted list. Later, Tomoko Akane was also declared wanted. ICC First Vice President Luz del Carmen Ibanez Carranza and Judge Bertram Schmitt are also wanted on criminal charges.

According to Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, Armenia was guided only by political motives when it ratified the ICC Rome Statute.