We're always looking for ways to make better. Have an idea? See something that needs fixing? Let us know!

Azerbaijan: Independence
Country Study > Chapter 1 > Historical Background > After Communist Rule > Independence


Mutalibov initially supported the August 1991 coup attempted against the Gorbachev regime, drawing vehement objections from APF leaders and other political opponents. Once the coup failed, Mutalibov moved quickly to repair local damage and to insulate his rule from Moscow's retribution by announcing his resignation as first secretary of the ACP. These moves by Mutalibov and his supporters were in line with the pro-independence demands of the APF, even though the two groups remained political adversaries. In September 1991, Mutalibov was elected president without electoral opposition but under charges from the APF that the election process was corrupt.

Azerbaijan began the process of achieving formal independence October 18, when the Supreme Soviet passed a law on state independence, ratifying that body's August declaration of independence. Then in December, over 99 percent of voters cast ballots in favor of independence in a referendum on that issue. The constitution was duly amended to reflect the country's new status. Immediately after the law was passed, the Supreme Soviet appealed to the world's nations and the United Nations (UN) for recognition of Azerbaijan. In December Mutalibov signed accords on Azerbaijan's membership in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS -- see Glossary), a move criticized by many Azerbaijani nationalists who opposed all links to Russia and Armenia. A year later, the Azerbaijani legislature repudiated the signature, rejecting membership in the CIS. Azerbaijan maintained observer status at CIS meetings, however, and it resumed full membership in late 1993.

Data as of March 1994

Last Updated: March 1994

Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Azerbaijan was first published in 1995. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on

Azerbaijan Main Page Country Studies Main Page

Section 21 of 82


Click any image to enlarge.

National Flag

(ман) (AZN)
Convert to Any Currency


Locator Map