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Armenia becomes 124th state party to join Rome statute of ICC

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Yerevan, Feb 1 (UNI) Armenia has become the 124th country to join the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) starting Thursday and the 19th state party from the Group of Eastern European States to enter the organization.

On October 3, the Armenian parliament voted to ratify the Rome Statute, with 60 lawmakers supporting the ratification of the document and 22 voting against. On October 14, Armenian President Vahagn Khachaturyan signed a law ratifying the Rome Statute and accepting the request for retroactive recognition of the ICC jurisdiction.

At the same time, member of the Hayastan (Armenia) opposition parliamentary faction Artsvik Minasyan said that the ratification of the Rome Statute contradicted the country’s constitution and that the ruling party lawmakers who approved the ratification “exceeded their powers.”

Additionally, Hayk Mamijanyan, the leader of the I Have Honor opposition party, also called the move illegal, pointing to the Armenian Constitutional Court’s 2004 ruling that the Rome Statute was contrary to the country’s basic law.

Armenia’s accession to the Rome Statute means that the country will have to recognize the court’s charges against Russian President Vladimir Putin and join the ICC arrest warrant against him. Against this background, Moscow has considered Yerevan’s plans to join the ICC unacceptable.

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