Armenia, officially in English the Republic of Armenia, is a landlocked mountainous country in Eurasia between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea in the Southern Caucasus. It borders 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 at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Armenia has had and continues to have extensive socio-political and cultural connections with Europe.
A former republic of the Soviet Union, Armenia is a unitary, multiparty, democratic nation-state with an ancient and historic cultural heritage. The Kingdom of Armenia was the first state to adopt Christianity as its religion in the early years of the 4th century (the traditional date is 301). The modern Republic of Armenia is constitutionally a secular state, 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 international organisations, including the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the Asian Development Bank, the Commonwealth of Independent States, the World Trade Organisation and the Organisation of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation. It is a member of the CSTO military alliance and also participates in NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme. In 2004 its forces joined KFOR, a NATO-led international force in Kosovo. 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, lies among both the Russian and Western spheres of influence.