SELF-PROCLAIMED REPUBLICS IN CIS GO THROUGH INTENSIVE DEMOCRATIC DEVELOPMENT-OPINION

RIA Novosti, Russia
Sept 14 2005

MOSCOW, September 14 (RIA Novosti) - Self-proclaimed republics in
the former Soviet Union are seeing intensive democratic development,
a member of the Russian parliament and director of a Moscow-based
think tank said Wednesday.

"In terms of state development, they boast the attributes that many
recognized states lack. I do not only mean armed and security forces,
but also democratic processes developing in these republics, including
a change of power [based on fair elections]," Konstantin Zatulin told
a conference on the issue.

The republics in question are Abkhazia and South Ossetia (officially
part of Georgia), the Transdnestr Republic (part of Moldova) and
Nagorny Karabakh (part of Azerbaijan).

Zatulin said the once bloody conflicts had by now been reduced to
peaceful confrontation and propaganda wars.