UNITED NATIONS The UN Security Council may consider suspending the indictment of Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC), Russia's UN ambassador Vitaly Churkin said Monday. Churkin gave that indication when reporters at UN Headquarters in New York asked him about the council's possible response to an expected request by the African Union (AU) for it to intervene and put on hold the ICC indictment. The Russian envoy said that Article 16 of the ICC statute "does give the Security Council of the United Nations certain political responsibilities. It is a duty of the Security Council." Under Article 16 of the ICC statute, the 15-member body can pass a resolution to defer an ICC investigation or prosecution for a period of 12 months. Such a resolution can also be renewed. After an emergency meeting of the AU's Peace and Security Council on Monday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Nigeria's Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe said that the AU will ask the UN Security Council to suspend the ICC indictment of al-Bashir on war crime charges. Churkin said Russia will not be "in the forefront of proposing something," but "should there be such initiatives in the Security Council, they should be regarded very carefully." The ICC's chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, is seeking an arrest warrant for President al-Bashir on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, for his role in the government's policies in the Darfur region of western Sudan.