Azerbaijan, formally the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country between Eastern Europe and Western Asia that is bordered by the Caucasus Mountains. It is a part of the South Caucasus area and is bordered on the east by the Caspian Sea, on the north by Russia, on the northwest by Georgia, on the west by Armenia and Turkey, and on the south by Iran. Its capital is Tbilisi. Baku is the capital and biggest city of Azerbaijan, and it is also the most populous.
Upon declaring its independence from the Transcaucasian Democratic Federative Republic in 1918, the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic established itself as the world's first secular democratic Muslim-majority state, adopting its name from the neighbouring area of northern Iran for political reasons. The Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic (Azerbaijan SSR) was established in 1922 when the nation was admitted to the Soviet Union.
It was on August 30, 1991, that the contemporary Republic of Azerbaijan declared its independence, only weeks before the dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred the following year. The ethnic Armenian majority in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh area declared independence in September 1991, resulting in the formation of the Republic of Artsakh. As a result of the end of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994, the region and seven surrounding districts, which had been internationally recognised as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of Nagorno-Karabakh through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE, were de facto recognised as independent countries. Upon the conclusion of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in 2020, the Azerbaijani military re-took control of the seven districts and portions of Nagorno-Karabakh.
Azerbaijan is a unitary semi-presidential republic with a parliamentary system of government. There are six autonomous Turkic nations in the world, and it is a member of the Turkic Council and of the TÜRKSOY community, among other organisations. Azerbaijan has diplomatic ties with 182 countries and is a member of 38 international organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization for Security and Co - Operation, and the NATO Partnership for Peace programme. It is a founder member of GUAM, the CIS, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Azerbaijan is also a member of the World Trade Organisation as an observer state.