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Russian Duma Rejects Law On Incorporating Separatist Regions

11 March 2005 -- Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, today rejected a proposal for Russia to incorporate separatist regions of other states that vote to break away.

The bill, put forward by the Rodina (Motherland) faction, noted what it called "increasing attempts" by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Moldova to extend their influence over their separatist regions, including Georgia's regions of Abkhazia, Adjara, and South Ossetia, the disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and Transdniester in Moldova.

The bill wanted Russia to incorporate such regions into the Russian Federation, if those regions expressed a desire to join Russia.

Parliament refused to back the bill. Deputy Yurii Konev said the bill posed a threat to Russia's territorial integrity, and also contradicts international law.