I think the authorities of Armenia would give a lot today not to find themselves in the situation created after the Constitutional Court’s decision on March 24 that the obligations stipulated in the declaration on the retroactive recognition of the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC) comply with the basic law of Armenia.
If we put aside the hypothesis that Nikol Pashinyan’s government has decided to commit political suicide, it is clear that the publication of the decision of the Constitutional Court days after the ICC ruled against Russian President Vladimir Putin is nothing more than coincidence while the failure not to prevent it amounts to a crime.
Talks on retroactively recognizing the jurisdiction of the ICC intensified in September 2022, when Azerbaijan infiltrated the sovereign territory of Armenia (and remains here to this day), killing 200 Armenian soldiers in the fighting.
Moreover, not only the representatives of the authorities spoke about the need to recognize the jurisdiction of the court, but also the former human rights defender of Armenia Arman Tatoyan, who obviously did not enjoy their patronage. On September 12, 2022 he, in particular, said:
“It should be done immediately given the atrocious conditions of the current aggression and mass crimes by Azerbaijan against Armenia. The President of Azerbaijan, the leaders of the special services and the army should be brought under international criminal responsibility and be punished.”
The fact that the decision of the Constitutional Court was publicized on March 24 is mostly due to the schedule determined by the relevant procedures. This is where the problem of sloppiness and short-sightedness of the authorities arises, which may cost us a high price. There was not at least one person in either the Constitutional Court, or in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or in Nikol Pashinyan’s administration who could have realized the consequences of publicizing the decision now, against the background of the situation with Putin.
The adoption of the decision could be postponed, or it could be done but made public later, finding some justification. Or at least it should be accompanied with an explanatory speech by a representative of the political authorities. I assure you that all states resort to such “tricks” in sensitive situations.
Now everything has mixed together and a whole snowball of problems is brewing on our heads. But instead of realizing this and looking for solutions, we see a new expression of criminal stupidity: some say approximately the following: “If the Russians had helped us in September, no problem of recognizing the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court would have arisen.” An impression is as if the recognition of that jurisdiction will solve our security problems.
A normal person knows that when a wounded tiger lies in the cage, one should not go in and hit the tiger’s open wound. The tiger will hit you in a way that even if you stay alive, you will no longer be able to live a full life. But for some reason the Armenian authorities think they will get away with this too.
Ara Tadevosyan is the Director of Mediamax.