Publication: Fortnight in Review Volume: 6 Issue: 23

On November 20-22, the self-styled foreign affairs ministers of Transdniester, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Karabakh met in Transdniester’s city of Tiraspol under Russian military protection. Their joint communique was publicized internationally courtesy of Armenia. The document expressed concern over the “GUUAM’s growing activity and expanding prerogatives.” It criticized GUUAM for contemplating the admission of countries such as Romania and Bulgaria, for discussing the formation of a GUUAM peacekeeping unit, and for cooperating with NATO’s Partnership for Peace program–“that is, with NATO itself.” Karabakh’s would-be foreign affairs minister Naira Melkumian took the lead in accusing GUUAM of creating “lines of division in the post-Soviet territory” by refusing to recognize the four breakaway regions. The four envoys portrayed GUUAM’s progress as inherently hostile to the four breakaway regions and even to the state of Armenia.