Armenia formally became a state party to the International Criminal Court (ICC), a decision that Russia, its traditional ally, had deemed unfriendly. “The Rome Statute (creating the ICC) officially entered into force for Armenia on February 1,” Armenian representative for legal affairs Yegishe Kirakosyan announced to Agence France-Presse.

Armenia signed the Rome Statute in 1999 but did not ratify it, citing contradictions with its Constitution. Yerevan, which had moved closer to the West in recent months, felt abandoned by Russia during Azerbaijan’s recent offensive in Nagorno-Karabakh, which the Kremlin denies.

Russia deployed a peacekeeping force in this territory three years ago after a brief attack by Azerbaijan. But its troops did not budge during Baku’s latest offensive, which won a lightning military victory, ending separatism among Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh.

Russia, for its part, takes a very dim view of Armenia’s accession, with the ICC having issued an arrest warrant against Vladimir Putin in the spring for the “deportation” of Ukrainian children to Russia.