Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations
Formation14 June 2006; 17 years ago (2006-06-14)
TypePolitical co-operation organization

The Community for Democracy and Rights of Nations (Russian: Сообщество за демократию и права народов), also commonly and colloquially known as the Commonwealth of Unrecognized States,[1] rarely as CIS-2 (Russian: Содружество непризнанных государств, СНГ-2), is an international organization in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus of three breakaway states in the territory of the former Soviet Union, all of which have limited to no recognition from the international community.



GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economic DevelopmentGeorgia (country)AzerbaijanUkraineMoldovaTajikistanTurkmenistanCollective Security Treaty OrganizationEurasian Economic UnionUzbekistanKyrgyzstanKazakhstanArmeniaUnion StateBelarusRussiaCommonwealth of Independent StatesCommonwealth of Independent States Free Trade AreaBaltic AssemblyLithuaniaLatviaEstoniaCommunity for Democracy and Rights of NationsTransnistriaAbkhaziaSouth Ossetia
A clickable Euler diagram showing the relationships among various supranational organisations in the territory of the former Soviet Unionvde

An agreement on creating the commonwealth was reached by the four separatist states of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria), the Republic of Abkhazia, the Republic of Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), and the Republic of South Ossetia in 2001 at the foreign ministers meeting held in Stepanakert,[2] the capital of Artsakh. The Community for Democracy and Human Rights was established on 14 June 2006 in Sukhumi, the capital of Abkhazia, by the presidents of three of these states: Sergei Bagapsh representing Abkhazia, Eduard Kokoity representing South Ossetia, and Igor Smirnov representing Transnistria (Pridnestrovie).[3] Artsakh, which had been a part of the 2001 agreement, left in 2004 but became a member state in 2007. All four member states have limited international recognition: Abkhazia and South Ossetia are located within the internationally recognized territory of Georgia,[4][5] Artsakh is within Azerbaijan,[6] and Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) is within Moldova.[7] All of them were secured by the presence of Russian military forces.


The first step towards co-operation between Abkhazia and Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) was taken immediately after the end of the Abkhazian-Georgian War when their foreign ministries signed the first co-operation agreement.[8] Then, in Tiraspol from 20-22 November 2000, the Foreign Ministers of Abkhazia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), South Ossetia, and Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) decided to establish a permanent coordinating body – the Meeting of Foreign Ministers.[9] According to another source, the body was called the Committee of Foreign Ministers of Unrecognized States, and the agreement on creating it was signed during the meeting.[10] In addition, an expert-level advisory council was created to carry out preparatory work between meetings, which should be held at least twice a year.[11]

For the next meeting of the foreign ministers of Abkhazia, Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh), the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic (Transnistria), and South Ossetia, which took place in Stepanakert[note 1] (Khankendi)[note 2] on 2-3 July 2001, the advisory council developed regulations for the organization, which were adopted at the meeting.[12] A Joint Statement and a Final Communiqué were adopted. Observers assessed the appearance of the conference mostly with skepticism, with Nezavisimaya Gazeta referring to it as the "Union of the Marginalized".[13][14][15] Initially, there was also a proposal to name the conference NATO-2 (Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Abkhazia, Transnistria, and Ossetia).[16]

On 22 August 2001, a Protocol on co-operation and consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Abkhazia and the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic was signed in Sukhumi. The Protocol is one of a number of documents regulating relations between the two republics at the diplomatic level.[13] After Stepanakert, the name CIS-2 (Commonwealth of Unrecognized States) became widespread, and the founders began using it. For example, in 2005, the head of the Foreign Ministry of the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic contrasted the CIS-2 and GUAM.[17]

Subsequently, this gave rise to writing in the press that the idea of creating the CIS-2 at one time originated in Stepanakert.[17] A number of meetings were held within the framework of the CIS-2. Thus, in March 2002, the heads of the unrecognized states held a meeting in Tiraspol to coordinate their actions within the framework of the CIS-2 bloc they created.[18] In September 2002, the head of the foreign policy department of South Ossetia announced the possibility of creating a military bloc in the future by the unrecognized states that arose on the territory of the former USSR.[19]

In March 2005, the Russian State Duma considered, but refused to accept, a bill proposed by deputies of the Rodina faction on amendments to the previously adopted constitutional law "On the procedure for admitting to Russia and forming a new subject of the Russian Federation within it." According to the bill, former Soviet autonomies could become part of Russia based on the will of the people living in this territory without concluding an international treaty with the post-Soviet state they are a part of. According to Dmitry Rogozin, Andrey Savelyev, and Natalia Narochnitskaya, who prepared the bill, this could solve the problems of Transnistria, Abkhazia, and South Ossetia.

According to Andrei Savelyev, the bill could "correct historical injustice": during the collapse of the USSR, the republican authorities ("small metropolises") did not hold referendums on secession from the USSR in the autonomous entities (future unrecognized states), thus violating the 1977 Constitution of the Soviet Union in force at that time, and referendums on the independence of the "small metropolises" did not take place in the autonomies themselves. However, the bill received negative opinions from the State Duma Committees on International Affairs and Federation Affairs and Regional Policy. During the voting, Rodina's initiative was supported only by the Communist Party of the Russian Federation. The Liberal Democratic Party of Russia and United Russia refused to participate in the vote.

In 2005, after much bickering, Russia agreed to the Georgian plan for resolving the Georgian–Ossetian conflict and to Viktor Yushchenko's "road map" for resolving the Transnistria conflict, which was called a turning point in Russian policy towards the CIS-2.[20] A meeting of the heads of the Republic of Abkhazia, the Pridnestrovian Moldavian Republic, and South Ossetia was planned for 22 April 2005. According to Valeriy Litskai, the head of the Transnistrian Foreign Ministry, "The meeting is dictated by the changing political situation, in particular plans for the expansion of GUAM. <…> I think that GUAM will receive an adequate response from CIS-2."[17] At the last moment, the summit was postponed to July.[21][22]


On 17 June 2007, the four-state Community for Democracy and Peoples' Rights signed in Tiraspol—the capital of Transnistria—the joint Declaration on principles of peaceful and fair settlement of the Abkhazian–Georgian, Artsakh–Azeri, Georgian–Ossetian, and Moldovan–Transnistrian conflicts. It calls for barring all types of pressure, such as military deployments, diplomatic isolation, economic blockades, or information wars, during negotiations toward resolution of conflicts. It also calls for external guarantees to eventual political settlements of these conflicts.[23]

On 27 September 2009 three members of the Community for Democracy and Peoples' Rights (all but Artsakh) agreed to abolish the visa regimes for their citizens. The agreement came into effect one month after its ratification by all three parliaments. It lasted for five years, after which it was automatically extended for another five-year term.[24]

As of 2017, the four member states have a combined population of 947,480 people. Abkhazia and South Ossetia have secured recognition from UN member states such as Nauru, Nicaragua, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela,[25] as well as the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic. Meanwhile, political leaders of Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Transnistria (Pridnestrovie) have all promised to integrate their economies and perhaps seek membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Union.[26]

On 19 September 2023, Azerbaijan launched a military offensive against Artsakh, and the government of Artsakh agreed to disarm and subsequently signed a decree to dissolve all of the republic's institutions by 1 January 2024, bringing its existence to an end.[27]

Current member states

Former member state

Administrative centres

Former administrative centre

See also


  1. ^ According to the administrative division of the unrecognized Republic of Artsakh
  2. ^ According to the administrative division of Azerbaijan


  1. ^ "Transnistrian Time-Slip" by Frank Jacobs, New York Times May 22, 2012
  2. ^ "Бум суверенитетов Archived 2008-10-13 at the Wayback Machine" – 2007-01-23, retrieved 2008-08-31
  3. ^ Community for democracy and people's rights. Accessed: August 27, 2008. Archived from the original on August 7, 2008.
  4. ^ Kvarchelia, L. (1998). Georgia-Abkhazia conflict: view from Abkhazia. Demokratizatsiya, 6(1), 18-27.
  5. ^ "The Law of Georgia on Occupied Territories (431-IIs)" (PDF). State Ministry for Reintegration. 23 October 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on 24 June 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2015.
  6. ^ Ghaplanyan, V. (2021). Armenia and Azerbaijan: High risk of cross-border violence in Nagorno-Karabakh despite ceasefire. Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project,(24-26).
  7. ^ Roper, Steven D (1 September 2001). "Regionalism in Moldova: The Case of Transnistria and Gagauzia". Regional & Federal Studies. 11 (3): 101–122. doi:10.1080/714004699. ISSN 1359-7566.
  8. ^ Установление и укрепление связей с республиками Северного Кавказа, российскими регионами, Приднестровьем, Южной Осетией, Нагорным Карабахом Archived 2010-06-20 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ "Газета «сегодня» от 24 ноября 2000г". Archived from the original on 31 December 2004. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  10. ^ Газета Коммерсантъ от 23 ноября 2000
  11. ^ Приднестровье и Абхазия попытаются вступить в Россию
  12. ^ "ИТОГИ СОВЕЩАНИЯ ГЛАВ МИД НЕПРИЗНАННЫХ ГОСУДАРСТВ4 июля 2001г" [RESULTS OF THE MEETING OF FOREIGN MINISTERS OF UNRECOGNIZED STATES July 4, 2001] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 6 March 2010.
  13. ^ a b "Установление и укрепление связей с республиками Северного Кавказа, российскими регионами, Приднестровьем, Южной Осетией, Нагорным Карабахом" [Establishing and strengthening ties with the republics of the North Caucasus, Russian regions, Transnistria, South Ossetia, Nagorno-Karabakh]. (in Russian). Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  14. ^ Archived 2011-08-10 at the Wayback Machine СНГ для маргиналов Независимая газета 8 сентября 2001
  15. ^ ИСПОЛНИЛОСЬ ДВА ГОДА СООБЩЕСТВУ «ЗА ДЕМОКРАТИЮ И ПРАВА НАРОДОВ» Archived 2008-08-20 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ Андрей Миловзоров «НАТО-2 борется за выживание Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine» Утро.ру 01.10.2004.
  17. ^ a b c "Нагорный Карабах не считает себя «непризнанным» 21 апреля 2005" [Nagorno-Karabakh does not consider itself "unrecognized" April 21, 2005]. Rosbalt. 21 April 2005. Archived from the original on 24 August 2005. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  18. ^ Алла ЯЗЬКОВА, Доктор исторических наук. Необходим поиск разумных решений невооруженным взглядом. Новая Газета № 23 от 01 Апреля 2002 г. Archived 2014-09-03 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ "Союз непризнанных: Южная Осетия и Абхазия собираются создать военный блок. Приднестровье и Карабах приглашены в качестве наблюдателей. 06 сентября 2002" [Union of Unrecognized: South Ossetia and Abkhazia are going to create a military bloc. Transnistria and Karabakh are invited as observers. 06 September 2002]. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 1 March 2010.
  20. ^ Россия уходит из СНГ-2
  21. ^ "Саммит СНГ-2 пройдет в конце июля в Сухуми" [The CIS-2 summit will be held at the end of July in Sukhumi] (in Russian). Archived from the original on 14 August 2011. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
  22. ^ Отменена встреча глав МИД непризнанных государств
  23. ^ Official website of the Community for Democracy and People’s Right’s
  24. ^ Южная Осетия, Абхазия и Приднестровье договорились упразднить между собой визовый режим (in Russian). Caucasian Knot. 27 September 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2015. Retrieved 3 October 2009.
  25. ^ "BREAKING NEWS: Syria recognizes South Ossetia and Abkhazia, 29 May 2018.
  26. ^ "Alexandru Leşanu: Transnistria’s presidential election: A hard-fought contest with no punches pulled, as Russia diverts its attention from the unrecognised state, 23 December 2016.
  27. ^ "Nagorno-Karabakh Republic will cease to exist from Jan 1 2024 - Nagorno-Karabakh authorities". Reuters. 28 September 2023. Archived from the original on 28 September 2023. Retrieved 28 September 2023.