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Azerbaijan protests to Russia over right-wing politician’s statement

September 18, 2012, 21:06 UTC+3
A press release issued by the ministry said Russian Ambassador in Baku
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BAKU, September 18 (Itar-Tass) – Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has sent a note of protest to Russia in connection with a statement that the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party, Vladimir Zhirinovsky made at a rally of the Armenian ethnic community in Moscow September 14.

A press release issued by the ministry said Russian Ambassador in Baku, Vladimir Dorokhin was summoned to the Foreign Ministry Tuesday to meet with Deputy Minister Halaf Halafov.

“During the meeting, Mr. Halafov expressed a protest to the Ambassador over the statement that Vladimir Zhirinovsky made September 14 in the course of an action organized in Moscow by the Russian Armenian Association in connection with the pardoning of the Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov,” the press release said.

Zhirinovsky called for terror against the Azerbaijanis and made a number of other provocative statements.

According to Halafov, “irresponsible appeals of this kind cast shadow over the Azerbaijani-Russia cooperation and friendly relations.”

These statements also do damage of Russia’s mission as a co-chairman of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe /OSCE/ for peace settlement in Nagorny Karabakh, Halafov said.

He expressed the hope that the Russian authorities “will give a due assessment to Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s unaccountable statements.”

Azerbaijani officer Ramil Safarov killed the Armenian serviceman Gurgen Markarian in 2004 when both of them were taking a NATO-sponsored upgrade course in Budapest. According to Safarov, Markarian had allegedly outraged on Azerbaijan’s national flag.

A court in Budapest sentenced Safarov to a life term in 2006. However, he was extradited to Azerbaijan at the end of last month and pardoned by President Ilham Aliyev.

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