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 Monday, February 12 2024 12:31
Naira Badalian

Armenia`s premier evades question about Russian president`s possible  arrest in Armenia

Armenia`s premier evades question about Russian president`s possible  arrest in Armenia

ArmInfo. In an interview with The Telegraph, Armenia's Premier Nikol Pashinyan evaded a question of  whether Russian President Vladimir Putin could be arrested if he arrived in Armenia. 

The Telegraph: Roland Oliphant - As part of your realignment,  enbracing other security structures, you joined the International  Criminal Court, I believe it happened on December 1 or January 31,  Armenia fornmally joined the Rome Statute. The International Criminal  Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for alleged war  crimes committed in Ukraine. If Vladimir Putin arrived in Yerevan,  would you arrest him?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - First of all, I want to say that the  Republic of Armenia started the process of joining the Rome Statute  in December 2022, and that decision was conditioned by the assessment  of changes in our security environment. We ratified the Rome Statute,  among other things, analyzing the consequences of the September 2022  war and noting that there are some cracks in our security system. In  that sense, we also ratified the Rome Statute as an additional factor  to increase Armenia's security level. I understand that it was a  difficult time period, and we made that decision because it was a  difficult period.  That decision serves to increase the security  level of Armenia.

As for the legal nuances, I can't carry out a legal analysis right  now because that's the job of lawyers. I think, as I said, Armenia as  a responsible state should adhere to all its international  committments, including the commitments it has in relations with the  Russian Federation, the commitments it has in relations with the  international community. By the way, there are various opinions and  legal analyzes on that topic, and in particular, the lawyers who say  that the current heads of state have immunity, insurmountable  immunity, due to their status are not just a few. I mean, it's a  legal issue, not a political issue that I have to discuss and respond  to.

The Telegraph: Roland Oliphant - Part of the world says Vladimir  Putin should be arrested for war crimes.  You have an obligation to  do so. If he comes to Armenia, will the Armenian police arrest the  Russian President and send him to The Hague?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - Let me open a secret to you. Since  2018, many large-scale democratic reforms have started in Armenia,  and I do not make decisions about who should be arrested and who  should not be arrested. There is an established legal order in  Armenia, there are legal institutions, and in all cases the legal  institutions of Armenia are the ones who make such decisions. For  that we have the Prosecutor's Office, we have courts, we have the  Investigative Committee and so on. It is very important that, being a  member of the Eastern Partnership, the Republic of Armenia stands out  especially for institutional reforms of having an independent  judicial system. There is rule of law in the Republic of Armenia, the  Prime Minister has his powers in the Republic of Armenia. Under no  circumstances those powers include the solution of the question  whether this person should be arrested or not. All of that is done  through legal procedures.

The Telegraph: Roland Oliphant - I understand, I mean, it might put  you in a bit of an awkward situation. Is it possible for you to  simply call Vladimir Putin and tell him just not to come, because you  cannot promise that he will not be arrested? This is quite an awkward  situation, isn't it?

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan - I don't think that Vladimir  Vladimirovich needs my advice.  

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