Armenia (Armenian: Հայաստան Hayastan), officially the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked mountainous country in Southeastern Europe between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, located in the Southern Caucasus. It shares borders with Turkey to the west, Georgia to the north, Azerbaijan to the east, and Iran and the Nakhchivan exclave of Azerbaijan to the south. A transcontinental country located at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Armenia has extensive sociopolitical and cultural connections to Europe.
A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. Historically, Armenia was the first nation to adopt Christianity as its state religion, Armenia is constitutionally a secular state today, although the Christian faith plays a major role in the history and identification of the Armenian people. Armenia is currently a member of more than 40 different international organizations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the World Trade Organization and the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. It is a Partnership for Peace (PfP) member of NATO and also a member of the CSTO military alliance. It is also an observer member of the Eurasian Economic Community, La Francophonie, and the Non-Aligned Movement. Armenia is also active in the international sports community with full membership in the Union of European Football Associations and International Ice Hockey Federation. The country is an emerging democracy and because of its strategic location, it lies among both the Russian and Western spheres of influence.