History - Karabakh Conflict
In 1988 the historical area of the Caucasus, Nagorno-Karabakh autonomous region, announced its decision to leave the structure of Azerbaijan and join Armenia. This was followed by the conflict with Azerbaijan. Mass demonstrations, meetings and strikes began. The situation was aggravated after Armenian pogroms in Azerbaijani city of Sumgait in February 1988. Before 1990, 250 thousand Armenians escaped from Azerbaijan to Armenia, and 150 thousand Azerbaijanis left Armenia.
In June 1990 the Supreme Council of Armenia expressed its consent to accept Nagorno-Karabakh in the structure of Armenia but this decision was vetoed by the USSR. The actions of Moscow resulted in new mass protests. The expanding ethno political conflict resulted in armed conflicts which after the disintegration of the USSR grew into the full-scale war; the considerable part of Azerbaijan was taken under Armenian control. In 1994 with the assistance of Russia the armistice agreement was reached under which both sides stay on the positions as of the moment of the treaty conclusion. Nagorno-Karabakh is de facto an independent Nagorno-Karabakh Republic.
It maintains close relations with Republic Armenia and uses its national currency - dram. The international community still considers Nagorno-Karabakh the part of Azerbaijan. The political lives of Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh are so closely interconnected that the former president of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Robert Kocharian became the head of Armenian government in 1997 and the President - since 1998.