Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, the Russian republic of Dagestan to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia and Turkey to the west, and Iran to the south.
The Azerbaijan Democratic Republic proclaimed its independence from the Russian Empire in 1918 and became the first secular democratic Muslim-majority state. In 1920, the country was incorporated into the Soviet Union as the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan proclaimed its independence on 30 August 1991, shortly before the dissolution of the USSR in the same year. In September 1991, the Armenian majority of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region seceded to form the Republic of Artsakh. The region and seven surrounding districts, internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan pending a solution to the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh through negotiations facilitated by the OSCE, became de facto independent with the end of the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. Following the 2020 Nagorno-Karabakh war, the seven districts and parts of Nagorno-Karabakh were returned to Azerbaijani control.