EU, Russia react to Safarov’s pardon
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 3 / Trend E.Tariverdiyeva /
The EU and Russia have reacted to the extradition and pardon of Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov.
The EU calls on the authorities of Azerbaijan and Armenia to prevent the escalation of tensions in bilateral relations as a result, of extradition from Hungary to Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, sentenced for the murder of the Armenian officer, said Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
"We call on Azerbaijan and Armenia to show restraint in their public statements to prevent any kind of escalation of the situation," Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels, RIA Novosti reported.
She said that the EU, in particular, is concerned about the possible impact that the current situation could have on the region of the South Caucasus as a whole.
Russia, which is co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict settlement, received with deep concern reports of Baku's pardon of Azerbaijani serviceman Safarova, as well as the decision of the Hungarian authorities to extradite him to Azerbaijan, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Return of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan is a matter of relations between Azerbaijan and Hungary, which was resolved in the framework of the law and is not contrary to norms and principles of the international law, Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry spokesman Elman Abdullayev said at a press briefing on Saturday.
Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov, who was convicted in Hungary, returned on Friday to Azerbaijan. The same day, under an order of the head of state, he was pardoned.
Ramil Safarov was born on August 25, 1977 in the Jabrail region of Azerbaijan. Safarov 34, who participated in NATO exercises in 2004 in Hungary, was charged with the murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan, who insulted the Azerbaijani flag. As the result of the verdict by the Budapest court, Safarov was sentenced to life imprisonment without the right of pardon during 30 years.
The Hungarian government on Sunday condemned Azerbaijan over release of officer Ramil Safarov who was earlier extradited by the Hungarian authorities to homeland. Moreover, Azerbaijani ambassador to Hungary Vilayat Guliyev was invited yesterday to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry where State Secretary Zsolt Németh presented him with a protest note.