- Bolshevik Revolution
Coup organized by Vladimir I. Lenin and carried out by the
Bolshevik radical group of the Russian Social Democratic Labor
Party to overthrow the Provisional Government of Russia in
November 1917. Also known as the October Revolution.
- Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Official designation of the former republics of the Soviet
Union that remained loosely federated in economic and security
matters after the Soviet Union disbanded as a unified state
in 1991. Members in 1996 were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus,
Georgia, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan,
Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
- Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty
An agreement signed in 1990 by members of the Warsaw Pact
and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--q.v.)
to establish parity in conventional weapons between the two
organizations from the Atlantic to the Urals. Included a strict
system of inspections and information exchange. In 1995 Russia
requested exemptions for forces stationed in the Caucasus
region, and substantial changes were negotiated by the thirty
signatory nations in 1997.
- Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO)
Established in 1985, an economic union of Islamic countries
to promote regional cooperation in trade, transportation,
communications, culture, and overall economic development.
Members in 1996 were Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakstan,
Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, the "Turkish
Republic of Northern Cyprus," Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
Russian term, literally meaning "public voicing."
Applied in the Soviet Union beginning in 1987 to official
permission for public discussion of issues and public access
to information, initially intended as a means for the regime
of Mikhail S. Gorbachev to publicize the need for political
and economic reform.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
The total value of goods and services produced exclusively
within a nation's domestic economy, in contrast to the gross
national product (GNP--q.v.). Normally computed over
- gross national product (GNP)
The total value of goods and services produced within a country's
borders and the income received from abroad by residents,
minus payments remitted abroad by nonresidents. Normally computed
over one-year periods.
- hard currency
National currencies that are freely convertible and traded
on international currency markets.
- International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established with the World Bank (q.v.) in 1945,
a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and
responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and
payments. Its main function is to provide loans to its members
(including industrialized and developing countries) when they
experience balance of payments difficulties. These loans frequently
have conditions that require substantial internal economic
adjustments by the recipients, most of which are developing
Linguistically, a subgroup of the Indo-Iranian branch of
Indo-European languages, which in modern times includes Persian
(q.v.)--the most widely used--Pushtu, Kurdish (q.v.)
dialects, and Ossetic. In the Middle Iranian stage of the
group's development (third century B.C. to tenth century A.D.),
the chief languages were Parthian, Pahlavi (middle Persian),
Term referring to a mainly Muslim people speaking an Indo-European
language similar to Persian. Kurds constitute significant
minorities in Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, with smaller groups
in Armenia and Syria. Despite international proposals in response
to minority persecution, never united in a single state.
Beginning in 1993, national currency of Turkmenistan. Inflation
rapid in 1994 and 1995. In January 1996, official rate 200
A dualistic religious movement founded in Persia, third century
A.D., incorporating elements of Christianity and Iranian and
- net material product (NMP)
In countries having centrally planned economies, the official
measure of the value of goods and services produced within
the country. Roughly equivalent to the gross national product
(q.v.), NMP is based on constant prices and does
not account for depreciation.
- New Economic Policy (Novaya ekonomicheskaya politika--NEP)
Instituted in 1921 by Vladimir I. Lenin, program allowing
peasants in the Soviet Union to sell produce on an open market
and small enterprises to be privately owned and operated.
Officially ended in 1929 with enforcement of national central
planning of all economic activities.
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)
During the postwar period until the dissolution of the Soviet
Union in 1991, the primary collective defense agreement of
the Western powers against the military presence of the Warsaw
Pact nations in Europe. Founded in 1949. Its military and
administrative structure remained intact after 1991, but early
in 1994 the Partnership for Peace offered partial membership
to all former Warsaw Pact nations and former republics of
the Soviet Union.
- Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)
Beginning in 1995, the name of the former Conference on Security
and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE). Established in 1972 as an
international forum for negotiation, the organization consisted
of fifty-three member nations in 1996, including all European
countries. The Charter of Paris (1990) changed the CSCE from
an ad hoc forum to an organization with permanent institutions.
In 1992 the CSCE took on new roles in conflict mediation,
including crises in the former Yugoslavia, the Caucasus region,
and Nagorno-Karabakh. Beginning in 1994, Russia advocated
CSCE/OSCE as the chief European peacekeeping agency in preference
to possible NATO expansion.
Russian term meaning "restructuring." Applied in
the late 1980s to an official Soviet program of revitalization
of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), the economy,
and the society by adjusting economic, social, and political
mechanisms in the central planning system. Identified with
the tenure of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet
As a language, a member of the Iranian subgroup in the Indo-European
language family. The official language of modern Iran and
spoken widely in Afghanistan. Middle Persian (Pahlavi) was
used between the third century B.C. and the ninth century
A.D. and was the official language of the Sassanid Empire
that ruled parts of Central Asia from the third century to
the sixth century A.D. Modern Persian is called Farsi by native
Currency of the Soviet Union; then, beginning in 1992, of
Russia. In February 1997, the exchange rate was 5,670 rubles
- ruble zone
Currency exchange arrangement by which former republics of
the Soviet Union continued using the ruble as their national
currency, forcing dependence on Russian currency valuations
and economic developments elsewhere in the Commonwealth of
Independent States (q.v.). In 1993 all Central Asian
republics except Tajikistan established national currencies
independent of the ruble.
The smaller of the two great divisions of Islam, supporting
the claims of Ali to leadership of the Muslim community, in
opposition to the Sunni (q.v.) view of succession
to Muslim leadership--the issue causing the central schism
Beginning in 1993, currency of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
In 1996 average exchange rate of Uzbekistani som was thirty-five
to US$1; of Kyrgyzstani som, eleven to US$1.
The larger of the two fundamental divisions of Islam, opposed
to the Shia (q.v.) on the issue of succession to
- Tajikistani ruble
Beginning in 1995, currency of Tajikistan. In January 1996,
exchange rate 284 rubles per US$1.
Beginning in 1993, currency of Kazakstan. In January 1996,
exchange rate sixty-four tenge to US$1.
- value-added tax (VAT)
A tax applied to the additional value created at a given
stage of production and calculated as a percentage of the
difference between the product value at that stage and the
cost of all materials and services purchased or introduced
- World Bank
Informal name for a group of four affiliated international
institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and
Development (IBRD); the International Development Association
(IDA); the International Finance Corporation (IFC); and the
Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency (MIGA). The four institutions
are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe
their capital for credit and investment in developing countries;
each institution has a specialized agenda for aiding economic
growth in target countries. To participate in the World Bank
group, member states first must belong to the International
Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).
- World Trade Organization (WTO)
Established 1995 as successor to the General Agreement on
Tariffs and Trade (GATT), aimed at liberalizing and securing
international trade. Formed in the Uruguay Round of trade
negotiations, the WTO had 115 member nations in 1996, and
fifteen others applied WTO rules to their trade policies.
Administered by a general council, trade dispute negotiation
panel, and secretariat.
Religion founded in the sixth century B.C. by the Iranian
prophet Zoroaster. With monotheistic and dualistic aspects,
it influenced subsequently founded religions, including Christianity
and Islam. Now practiced most widely by Persian immigrants