YEREVAN — Parliament speaker Alen Simonian on Friday criticized his Estonian counterpart Juri Ratas for visiting the Nagorno-Karabakh town of Shushi captured by the Azerbaijani army during the 2020 war.

Ratas and members of an Estonian parliamentary delegation headed by him travelled to Shushi on May 24 during an official visit to Azerbaijan.

Simonian described the trip and pro-Azerbaijani comments made there by Ratas as “extremely concerning” during a meeting with Estonia’s Tbilisi-based ambassador to Armenia, Riina Kaljurand. He said they run counter to Armenia’s “friendly” relations with Estonia and the Baltic state’s stated support for a Karabakh settlement sought by the OSCE Minsk Group.

“The president of the National Assembly of Armenia expressed hope that his Estonian counterpart will visit Armenia soon, familiarize himself with the situation on the ground and also meet with officials representing Nagorno-Karabakh,” read a statement released by the Armenian parliament’s press office.

Earlier this year, the Armenian Foreign Ministry sent a note of protest to the United Nations after a senior UN official participated in an event organized by the Azerbaijani government in Shushi. Reacting to the event, Karabakh’s leadership accused Baku of trying to use international bodies for “legitimizing the results of its aggression” against Karabakh.

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