He recalled that 1 million refugees and internally displaced persons live in Azerbaijan and that the UN Security Council, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) and the European Parliament have repeatedly adopted resolutions reaffirming that Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan.
Markov also said that no country recognized Nagorno-Karabakh as a separate independent state.
"Some consider the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to be a frozen conflict, because there is no movement of armed forces and no peacekeeping forces are stationed. But this conflict cannot be considered frozen due to the occurrence of various incidents,” he said.
“Hostilities did indeed take place on the contact line of troops in April of 2016. While it only lasted for a short time – namely four days, hundreds of servicemen and civilians were killed. Official Moscow, having talked over the phone with the leaderships of Azerbaijan and Armenia several times, asked to stop the military hostilities," Markov added.
According to the Director of the Institute, Armenia occupied not only Nagorno-Karabakh, but also seven adjacent regions.
“Ethnic cleansing was carried out in these regions, and locals were expelled from these territories. The OSCE Minsk Group was created to resolve the conflict, and certain measures were taken for holding negotiations,” he noted.
“Moreover, the Kazan Principles adopted on the initiative of Russia envisage a compromise, according to which Armenia returns the seven occupied regions to Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan lifts the economic blockade around Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, and then gives a temporary status to Nagorno Karabakh, followed by the withdrawal of the Armenian forces. Currently, negotiations are continuing on the basis of these principles," Markov concluded.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno Karabakh and the surrounding districts.