WASHINGTON (RFE/RL)—The United States is “not satisfied” with explanations from Baku and Budapest concerning the case of an Azerbaijani officer who brutally murdered an Armenian soldier at a NATO seminar in Hungary eight years ago.
Philip Gordon, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, told RFE/RL at the Center for European Policy Analysis’ U.S.-Central Europe Strategy Forum on September 20 that Washington continues to express “dismay and disappointment” to Budapest about its decision to release Ramil Safarov to Baku.
He said Washington is sending the same message to Azerbaijan’s government, which pardoned Safarov and then promoted him after his August 31 return to the country.
“We were appalled by the glorification that we heard in some quarters of somebody who was convicted of murder,” Gordon said. He called the case “a real provocation in the region.”
The European Union, the OSCE’s Minsk Group, Russia, and Hungary also expressed concern about Safarov’s pardon and promotion.