Armenia cuts diplomatic ties with Hungary in soldier row
YEREVAN (REUTERS) - Armenia said it was suspending diplomatic relations with Hungary on Friday because it had allowed an Azeri soldier who killed an Armenian officer in 2004 to return home, where he was immediately pardoned and freed.
"Hungarian authorities should understand that they have made a grave mistake," President Serzh Sarksyan told his Security Council in a statement posted on his website.
"They de-facto made a deal with the Azeri authorities." The row erupted after Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev pardoned Ramil Safarov, who had been sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Markaryan during Nato training in Hungary.
Hungary agreed to return Safarov to Azerbaijan, where he arrived on Friday, after it had received assurances he would serve out his sentence.