Armenia officially joined the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday, a move that has drawn criticism from its traditional ally, Moscow, labeling it as unfriendly.
Yeghishe Kirakosian, Armenia's official representative in international legal matters, stated, "The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court officially entered into force for Armenia on February 1st," a move that Russia has described as "unfriendly," according to the French news agency AFP.
Armenian President Vahan Khachaturian had signed the accession documents to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court on October 13th of the previous year, following swift discussions of the proposal that significantly strained relations with Russia, Armenia's traditional ally.
Russia did not view this accession favorably, as the International Criminal Court issued a warrant in the spring against Russian President Vladimir Putin on charges of "forcible transfer" of Ukrainian children to Russia.
On October 3rd, Armenian lawmakers approved the accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, with 60 members in favor and 22 against.
Meanwhile, Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesperson, criticized this decision as a "mistake" and questioned its appropriateness in terms of bilateral relations.
Armenia hopes that its membership in the ICC will provide additional protection in dealing with its influential neighbor, Azerbaijan, which achieved a rapid military victory weeks ago, ending the separatist movement in Karabakh.