All Your Simple Questions About Armenia’s Independence – Answered

August 23, 1990 - the Soviet Armenian parliament votes to secede from the USSR and begin the process of transformation from the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic to the Republic of Armenia.

Question: Why does Armenia celebrate Independence Day on September 21?

Answer: The 1991 independence referendum in Soviet Armenia was held on that day. 99.5% voted for independence.

Q: If Independence Day is on September 21, why is Republic Day celebrated on May 28?

A: May 28 is considered the day of the foundation of the First Republic of Armenia in 1918. Today’s Republic of Armenia considers itself the successor of the first Republic.

Q: Why was the Declaration of Independence adopted on August 23, 1990, before the de jure independence of Armenia?

A: The adoption of the declaration was the beginning of the process of independence from the collapsing Soviet Union. The Declaration of Independence was adopted by the last convocation of the Supreme Council of still-Soviet Armenia.

Q: What preceded the Declaration of Independence?

A: The Karabakh movement, which began in the late 1980s, and the subsequent ethnic conflicts, together with the deepening economic and environmental issues shook the foundations of the USSR. In August 1991, a coup attempt in Moscow to thwart the collapse of the Soviet Union failed. The collapse was inevitable.

Q: Where is the original copy of the Declaration of Independence?

A: The original copy of the Declaration of Independence is kept in the History Museum of Armenia, in the exhibition hall dedicated to the Third Republic.

Q: Why did Aram Manukyan read the Declaration of Independence in 1990?

A: Aram Manukyan was chosen to read that document because he was the namesake of one of founders of the 1918 First Republic of Armenia, also named Aram Manukyan, who served in various capacities in the government of the first republic.

Q: What are the symbols of independence; how were they chosen?

A: The Armenian flag, anthem, coat of arms are the symbols of independence. They were adopted from those of he First Republic of Armenia.

Q: When was the Armenian currency adopted?

A: The Armenian dram or AMD, the currency of the Republic of Armenia, was put into circulation on November 22, 1993.

Q: Which political parties were against Armenia’s independence?

A: The communists were against independence. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation expressed its opinion in its official newspaper, saying “Being in favor of independence, we are against secession.”

Q: When did Armenia become a UN member?

A: On March 2, 1992, the Armenian flag was raised in front of the UN headquarters. In December of the same year, a UN office was opened in Yerevan.

Q: Which countries were the first to recognize the independence of the Republic of Armenia?

A: Lithuania was the first country to recognize Armenia’s independence on August 4, 1991, followed swiftly by Romania, Russia and Turkey.

Q: Which countries do not have diplomatic relations with Armenia?

A: Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Hungary do not have diplomatic relations with Armenia.

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