In a move that could have significant geopolitical implications, Armenia has ratified the Rome Statute, the founding document of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
This decision effectively obliges Armenia to arrest Russian President Vladimir Putin if he ever sets foot in the country.
Despite strong objections from Moscow, traditionally an ally of Yerevan, Armenian lawmakers voted in favor of the Rome Statute.
Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov labeled the move as "extremely hostile," especially considering that the ICC has issued an arrest warrant for Putin on war crimes charges related to Russia's actions in Ukraine.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan insists that the decision is not targeted at Russia.
Instead, he argues that it is a necessary step to ensure Armenia's protection under international law, particularly in its ongoing dispute with neighboring Azerbaijan.
The Wider Impact on Putin
The ratification adds another layer of complexity to Putin's international travel plans.
Earlier, he was forced to pull out of a summit in South Africa, a country that has also ratified the Rome Statute. The ICC has accused Putin and Russia’s commissioner for children’s rights, Maria Lvova-Belova, of involvement in the abduction and forced deportation of children from Ukraine.