Azerbaijan - situated in southwestern Asia with the Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, it was a former Soviet republic, is an independent state since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
Historically, the name “Azerbaijan” refers to a larger region that formed part of Persia (Iran). Its bordered by the Caspian Sea in east, Iran in south, Armenia in west, Georgia and Russia in the north. “Oil-rich Azerbaijan” has redefined itself over the past decades from a struggling independent state to a major regional energy player. Deals with international energy producers have allowed the country to use its energy revenues to create a government-run fund involved in international projects and it has also used its resources to improve and rebuild its entire social and economic development.
Today, Azerbaijan is a tangle of contradictions and contrasts, selling itself as the “Land of Fire”, neither Europe nor Asia, it's a nexus of ancient historical empires, but also a “new” nation rapidly transforming itself from the UNESCO-listed ancient core with semi-desert, mud volcanoes and curious fire phenomena to a cosmopolitan capital - Baku, with dazzling 21st century architecture to welcome international travelers and investors.