Armenia cuts ties with Hungary over Azerbaijan killer pardon

Armenia says it is severing diplomatic ties with Hungary after the release of an Azeri army officer convicted of murdering an Armenian soldier. The Azeri serviceman, Ramil Safarov, was given a life sentence for hacking Armenian Gurgen Markarian to death with an axe in 2004 in Budapest.

The Hungarian authorities said they had returned Safarov to his homeland only after receiving assurances from the Baku government that his sentence would be enforced.

Armenia and Azerbaijan fought a bitter war over an enclave in the early 1990s. Armenia said on Friday that Hungary had made a “grave mistake” in sending Safarov back to Azerbaijan.

“With their joint actions, Azerbaijan and Hungary opened the door to the recurrence of such crimes,” President Serzh Sarkisian said in comments release by his press office.

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