Parliament Speaker Calls Talk of Putin’s Arrest “Absurd”
The leadership of Armenia’s parliament signaled on Monday that Yerevan was in no hurry to ratify the controversial Rome Statute that would make Armenia a member-state of the International Criminal Court, which issued an arrest warrant for President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
Parliament Speaker Alen Simonyan said that the parliament has not held any discussions on the issue of ratifying the statute, which last week was deemed by the Constitutional Court to not contradict with Armenia’s Constitution.
The parliament leader told Armenia’s Public Television Sunday night that Armenia does not need to rush the matter.
“We have cases of crimes against humanity committed during the Armenian Genocide and Karabakh wars, and it [the ICC] is a necessary tool for Armenia. But we have always behaved as an ally, and we have not taken any special steps against Russia,” said Simonyan, referring to the court’s arrest warrant for Putin.
He said any discussion about Armenia arresting Putin is “absurd.”
“It [talk of arresting Putin] is absurd,” Simonyan said. “We have always behaved in an allied manner and have been correct in our relations, which allows us today to criticize some of Russia’s actions, which are at least incomprehensible to us. We have always behaved as the right ally and we have been honest with all our partners. There is no need to add a political context to the matter.”
He added that the Russian officials, with whom he is in contact, have not even raised this issue, stressing that it is not appropriate to raise such an issue in the case of Armenia, because Armenia has always behaved honestly and in the spirit of allied relations with the CSTO and all other international partners.
Russia last week issued a stern warning to Armenia about the ratification of the ICC statute, emphasizing that the warrant issued for Putin was illegal. The Russian foreign ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova also said that the ICC matter was discussed with Moscow’s Armenian partners.
The parliament speaker said that the ratifying of the ICC statute would be “a negative step toward Russia, the meaning and usefulness of which I do not understand.”
“There are many countries that have ratified it, and Armenia should not be on the forefront of this matter. Yes, we are dissatisfied with some of Russia’s reactions and actions, and we have many issues that we need to discuss, but at the same time, in my subjective opinion that it would not be right to take such a step today,” added Simonyan.