1991 Armenian independence referendum

21 September 1991

Do you agree that the Republic of Armenia should be an independent democratic state outside of the USSR?
Votes %
Yes 2,042,627 99.51%
No 10,002 0.49%
Valid votes 2,052,629 99.80%
Invalid or blank votes 4,129 0.20%
Total votes 2,056,758 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 2,163,967 95.05%

An independence referendum was held in the Armenia SSR on 21 September 1991 to determine whether to secede from the Soviet Union.[1] It followed a declaration of independence on 23 August 1990.[2] 99.5% of voters voted in favour, with a turnout of 95%.[3] The country officially became an independent state on 23 September 1991.[4]


The May 1990 Armenian Supreme Soviet election resulted in the formation of a non-Communist government led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan, chairman of the Pan-Armenian National Movement.[5] In December 1990, Mikhail Gorbachev proposed a referendum on the continuation of the Soviet Union, as a federative state.[5] The Ter-Petrosyan government rejected the proposal on 1 March 1991 and decided instead to hold a referendum on independence.[5]


Choice Votes %
For 2,042,627 99.51
Against 10,002 0.49
Invalid/blank votes 4,129
Total 2,056,758 100
Registered voters/turnout 2,163,967 95.05
Source: Direct Democracy


Following the referendum, Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev unsuccessfully attempted to persuade Armenia to join the Union of Soviet Sovereign Republics. However, the Armenian government signed an economic treaty with Russia that created a free-trade zone.[6]

Levon Ter-Petrosyan was elected the first president of Armenia in November 1991 and Armenia formally gained independence on 26 December 1991.

See also


  1. ^ Nohlen, Hartmann & Grotz 2001, p. 329.
  2. ^ "Armenian Declaration of Independence". Archived from the original on 12 September 2013. Retrieved 13 March 2020.
  3. ^ Nohlen, Hartmann & Grotz 2001, p. 332.
  4. ^ "Самоопределение по ленинским принципам". АПН - Агентство Политических Новостей (in Russian). Retrieved 2019-06-26.
  5. ^ a b c Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe 1991, p. 1–2.
  6. ^ "Restoration of Armenian Independence: Armenian Third Republic". University of South Florida Tampa Library. Archived from the original on 2017-03-25.