Hungary Warns Armenia

Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Hungary has reportedly warned Armenia to restore diplomatic relations with the central European state or face “serious ramifications” of its furious reaction to the release from a Hungarian prison of the Azerbaijani axe-killer of an Armenian army officer.

In a letter to his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian revealed by Hungarian media on Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Janos Martonyi again defended his government’s decision to extradite Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan more than eight years after the brutal murder of Lieutenant Gurgen Markarian in Budapest. He said the extradition stemmed from a European convention and was not aimed at offending the Armenian people.

The Hungarian government also claims that it had received formal assurances from Azerbaijan that Safarov will serve the rest of a life sentence given to him by a Hungarian court in an Azerbaijani prison.

Armenian leaders have brushed aside such statements, saying that Budapest was well aware that Safarov will be set free if sent back home. They also say that Hungarian officials had repeatedly assured Yerevan, including in the days leading up to the extradition, that the Azerbaijani army officer will not be repatriated.

“The Armenian people will not forgive that,” President Serzh Sarkisian said as he suspended diplomatic relations with Hungary on August 31 just hours after Safarov returned to Baku to a hero’s welcome.

In his letter that was first reported by the Hungarian MTI news agency, Martonyi expressed regret at the dramatic move, citing “Christian values connecting the two peoples for a thousand years.”

The Hungarian minister also warned, “Suspending diplomatic relations could have serious ramifications that would not serve the interests of Armenia.” He apparently did not elaborate.

A diplomatic source in Yerevan told RFE/RL’s Armenian service ( Nalbandian did receive a letter from Martonyi but has not replied yet.

Martonyi said last Wednesday that Switzerland has offered to mediate between Budapest and Yerevan and that his government welcomes this initiative. But the Armenian Foreign Ministry dismissed the statement, saying that it expects “clear steps by the Hungarian authorities.” It did not clarify what those steps should be.

Foreign ministers and other senior diplomats from the European Union member states discussed the fallout from the Safarov affair at a meeting held in Cyprus late last week. Martonyi reiterated the official Hungarian line that seems to have been accepted by the EU leadership in Brussels. The latter said last week that Safarov’s transfer to Azerbaijan was carried out “in the framework of the Convention of Strasbourg on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons.”

The EU has criticized instead the Azerbaijani government for pardoning and promoting Safarov immediately after his extradition. A spokeswoman for Catherine Ashton, the EU foreign and security policy chief, said last week that the Azerbaijani side apparently failed to honor “certain conditions and commitments that were agreed between Hungary and Azerbaijan on the transfer of Ramil Safarov.”

The spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, told RFE/RL on Monday that Brussels is still expecting explanations from Baku and closely watching developments in the dispute.


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  1. Andranik said:

    This gruesome murder was carried out on Hungarian soil, and both Hungary and NATO are responsible, enough of EU BS !!!
    Christian values???

  2. Sevag said:

    What ramifications?….This is the same country that acquits and dismisses nazi war criminals…..I guess that’s something Hungry and Azerbaijan have in common, allowing murderers to walk free and not pay the price for their crimes

  3. hagop hagopian said:

    What Christian bond. I see, you are playing the role of God, by forgiving a criminal. Your empire was able to defeat the ottoman army by the help of an Armenian spy, and the gratitude we get is getting stabbed by a fellow Christian nation in the back. I strongly suggest you get rid of that thing that is growing over your mouth. However, if you are trying to mimic your new prophet, he had a beard sans a moustache.
    You have the audacity to warm us and our nation. F@@@K YOU AND YOUR COUNTRY

  4. GB said:

    Those ex communist corrupted Hungarian politicians are not part of ordinary Hungarian people, they can B@#$ sh@#$ as much as they want!!

  5. Samvel Jeshmaridiaian, PhD said:

    The illegitimate President of Armenia had to consult the Armenian Congress before making such a move. The consequences might be serious.

  6. Ray said:

    First of all who the hell is Hungary to warn Armenia? Last time Hungary was a important nation was when
    it was part of the Austia-Hungarian Empire now all they are is a nation that asks for hand outs from Europe and makes dirty deals behind closed doors with country’s like Azerbaijan!
    This is like the ultimate insault to Armenia I say dam them let them go to hell!
    Someone who sits down with Aliev and breaks bread is no friend of Armenia end of stroy!

  7. ba said:

    I guess the Hungarian regime is really only in “self interest” mode right now. Self interests is a part of there argument in their warning to Armenia. Instead of apologizing they decided to stick it out with dictator Aliev, I wonder how far they will go? It’s like the world is regressing on human rights.

  8. AraK said:

    “Suspending diplomatic relations could have serious ramifications that would not serve the interests of Armenia.” Wow! Now it’s Hungary’s turn to threaten us! This threat will depend on EU’s decisions how far should be pushed. But I don’t trust the west too much…

  9. Hayq said:

    Hungary should recognize the Armenian Genocide and make a statement that many proud Hungarian freedom fighters, politicians, entrepreneurs, and academics were ethnic Armenian.

  10. Mike Mirakian said:

    Tell Minister Janos to go to hell! What “serious ramifications” can there possibly be? Will they release TWO MURDERERS this time? Will they avoid declaring Karabagh a sovereign independent country? That’s simply not going to happen especially after this ammoral Hungarian government has already tasted $3 Billion in candy from the Azeris. I’m sure there is plenty more candy $ waiting for them in the future if they side politically with the Turks and Azeris. What happened to “I’m sorry, they broke their promise to us”?

  11. Tsayt said:

    Well, it seems the Hungarian officials are arrogant, disrespectful AND bullies! The Turkic strains in some Hungarian officials’ blood rearing their ugly heads.

  12. Jda said:

    Hungary threatens Armenia with what? That Hungary will beggar it’s own dignity by sending standard issue murderers to the airport with a passport, an axe, and a Yerevan street map in the custody of chaperones from the Sea Scouts?

    What repercussions could Hungary have in mind? No more paprika shipments?

  13. Sebouh Nazarian of Sydney , Australia said:

    You are nobody to warn us…always wondered why the worst Jews were Hungarian…now I know why

  14. Alex Postallian said:

    Be careful of the BIG COWARD turkey,who would love to join any altercation,as a ally,to invade Armenia.Jointly serving the other coward,azerbaturk.So,dont depend on the big bear for protection,since they changed Presidents.

  15. Albert said:

    There are claims that Azerbajian is going to murder Ramil Safarov with the cooperation of certain Western interests and blame it on the Armenians and have an excuse to start a war with Armenia and Arsakh.
    This may be true. You never know. Hungary is a very corrupt post- communist country who likes Azeri bribes.

  16. George said:

    Hungary has reportedly warned Armenia to restore diplomatic relations with the central European state or face “serious ramifications” I thought relations are voluntarily and on mutual respect, and this is INTINIDATION AND BLACKMAIL, I doubt this is Hungarian people’s wish, HOW MUCH DID HE GOT PAID FOR THIS$$$$$$$$$$?

  17. steve said:

    really , i would like to see what Hungary will do , they extradite a murderer, then try to pat armeiia with apparent christian values, now a threat to armenians. I dont think they can be trusted ever. Steps need to be taken to make sure Hungary’s leaders are punished and feel the pain they give without realising what they are doing. Hungary is Hungry….for money !

  18. Al said:

    Armenia not having full European support on this issue, not surprisingly, will be further pushed into Russian hands. First Eurovision and now this. Europe is becoming dictatorial.

  19. levon sanosyan said:

    The Hungarian Government has learned a lot from Turkey in warning nations for consequences of this and that actions. Turkey is an empty smoke pipe and her student followers are nothing but the same. The problem is Turkey and Azerbaijan ( the little brother of Turkey ) both criminals in action, one the author of the word Genocide and one a fake nation of barbarian Turks. The sooner the civilized world community understands about these two plagues of human race the better off the world will be. Let the Europeans stick in their ears once and for all that Turkey and the Turks have no place in the European Union. Acceptance of Turkey into the European Union will be the end of this union. And the sooner the United States and Nato in particular wash their hands from these two Turkic bists and stops financing and arming them the better off the world will be.

  20. German_in_Yerevan said:

    Aliyev bribed the Hungarian courts and politicians with 20,000,000-50,000,000 euros for this release.

    This is peanuts for Aliyev whose estimated wealth is 30 to 40 billion dollars. He has been plundering the oil and gas wealth of Azerbaijan and has at least a 50% stake in any profitable business in Azerbaijan’s booming economy.

    The Hungarians are at fault but the ones to blame are also the European Union who have bought them to their knees with foolish economic policies.

    With hindsight this debacle could serve Armenia’s long term prospects if Armenian politicians smarten up and use it to their advantage. Aliyev is running on a wave of popularity right now and this will last for another 12-24 months. This could be the perfect window of opportunity for some substantial negotiations that will lead to some concrete results. That is what is urgently needed if Armenia is to develop and secure is future.

  21. Arthur said:

    If Safarov’s transfer to Azerbaijan was carried out “in the framework of the Convention of Strasbourg on the Transfer of Sentenced Persons why on earth the Hugarians were hiding that from Armenian side? It’s crystal clear that this was a deal between Azeris and majars (Hungarians)

  22. Raffi Bairamian said:

    Shame on you Mr Foreign minister of Hungary, you should apologize and ask pardon from the Armenian People instead of warning Armenia.If anything, your position reflects the immoral values which you believe in and people like you should live in isolated jungles and not in today’s civilized society.

  23. Satenik said:

    Diplomatic relations are not restored by threats! Hungary’s FM has a cheek to “demand” this!

  24. bayrakiniyakan said:

    Suspending diplomatic relations could have serious ramifications that would not serve the interests of Armenia ? WOW !! in Armenian we say CHE HA :)))))

  25. Barkev Asadourian said:

    With folloowing terms,
    1- Reconized Armenian Genocide.
    2-Reconized Occupide Armenian lands by Turkey and get back Wilsonian terretories.
    3-Reconized Artzakh Independed Armenian Country..

  26. Armen Carapetian said:

    rather than sending threatening messages, hungary should focus on repairing relations with armenia. and if anyone should be threatened, it’s azerbaijan. why isn’t hungary or the eu calling for sanctions on azerbaijan? oh right, $$$OIL$$$.

  27. Garo said:

    It appears that the ball is in EU court. Pardoning and promoting goes against the very fiber of Human Rights issue. EU cannot afford this incident to set as a precedence.

  28. Harutyunyan said:

    There was a 1915, and then there was 1990 and now history repeats. WHY is my nation is so dependent on who says what? Haven’t we learned enough that NO ONE is going to come and rescue us. We need to do something and we need to do it NOW while this event is a rare opportunity which has given us a platform for actions. If Hungary is openly has threatened us, we should take actions and demand through UN to recognize the fact and force other nations to cut their diplomatic ties with them. That’s what we should do. We do not have enough military power to go in to war and be able to sustain, there for we need to put the “clamp” on all of these M@%^*& F@kers by using POLITICS !

  29. Jacques Kavafian said:

    To start, I’ll take a full apology from the Hungarian government. Then they should recognize the Armenian Genocide and third they should shut-the-%$#@$ up.

  30. April1915 said:

    Hungary has the guts to warn Armenia after freeing a murderer and claims to share Christian values with Armenia? What a bunch of B.S. coming out of Hungarian radical, corrupt government! The world is upside down. Welcome to the new Europe!

  31. Súro said:

    How can one invoke Christian values after having released such a murderer? They insult their own God and ours. To then threaten us with ramifications… It really takes some doing.

    That being said, we don’t need to swear and degrade ourselves just because they keep messing up. Մենք մեր արժանապատւութիւնը պէտք չէ կորսնցնենք:

  32. Berge Jololian said:

    Hungary’s upcoming EU presidency may create complications for Armenia.

    Azerbaijan which purchased Hungary’s 3 billion Euro debt is passing it to Turkey’s ownership – so Turkey exerts influence on Hungary. Turkey has been actively re-establishing the Ottoman sultanate regime over Eastern Europe – for the past 12 years. Turkey effectively exerts influence over Bulgaria, Greece, Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, and eastward in Georgia.

  33. Nigol "t" said:

    Let’s leave Hungary, the flag and it’s people alone, it’s the regime that is to blame. First thing they should do is to file a complaint against Azerbaijan at the European congress, the United nations and the Hague courts for negating the release deal that they made with Alieve. If they have the guts or resign and bring a new government that will do it.

  34. A.N. said:

    Agree with the Idea that Armenia must take advantage of the situation in showing the malicious character and dirty intentions of Azerbayjan. Forget the Hungarians, they are only serving to distract Armenia from condemning Azerbayjan.

  35. Beus said:

    Dear Armenian brothers!

    At first, in the name of all Hungarian citizens I wanna say we’re also shocked about our f*cking goverment’s steps….the 1. was when we heard that the murderer sent back to azerbaijan….the 2. is that “warning…”
    I cant’ imagine how the family members of the murdered officer feel….And we also can’t accept the decisions of Hungary and EU….So we’re ashamed by our corrupt leaders…:( So the civil citizens of H. are on your side!!!

  36. George said:

    Armenia should pressure Russia for in case a war errupt to split Azerbaijan between Armenia and Iran. Azerbaijan is good for nothing.

  37. Dr Laurence Broers said:

    The presidential pardon of Ramil Safarov has affected relations between Hungary and Armenia. It has also severely aggravated tensions between Armenians and Azerbaijanis in the conflict for Nagorny Karabakh. Many Armenians have seen many of their worst stereotypes confirmed by this episode. Yet it has also revealed what a small number of those engaged in cross-conflict peacebuilding initiatives have known for years: many Azeris do not see a future in ethnic hatred and want a normal dialogue with Armenians. A number of Azeris at home and abroad have spoken out in the aftermath of the Safarov affair to express this. Unfortunately, the Safarov pardon has cut the ground from under work of this kind to support the peaceful resolution of the conflict. The task now is to weather the current storm and keep the space for normal dialogue open. (