, the ethnic-Armenian region of Azerbaijan that Armenian troops have occupied since 1991. The meeting, at the level of “foreign minister,” took place at the end of November in Transdniester’s capital of Tiraspol, where Russian troops still maintain a garrison.

The rump convention is more than mere mischief. Russia’s support for these breakaway regions undermines nation-building in newly independent Azerbaijan, Moldova and especially Georgia. It undermines the credibility and exposes the impotence of the fifty-five-nation Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), whose resolutions on Russian withdrawal from Moldova and Georgia the Russians approve and then ignore. So far neither the bold but feeble states on Russia’s border, nor the strong but timid nations of the West, have done a thing about it.