Glossary -- Georgia (Caucasus)

Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)
Official designation of the former republics of the Soviet Union that remained loosely federated in economic and security matters of common concern after the Soviet Union disbanded as a unified state in 1991. Members in early 1994 were Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU)
The official name of the communist party in the Soviet Union after 1952. Originally the Bolshevik (majority) faction of a prerevolutionary Russian party, the party was named the Russian Communist Party (Bolshevik) from 1918 until it was renamed in 1952.
Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE)
Originating in Helsinki in 1975, a grouping of all European nations (the only exception, Albania, joined in 1991) that has sponsored joint sessions and consultations on political issues vital to European security.
Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE Treaty)
An agreement signed in 1990 by the members of the Warsaw Treaty Organization (Warsaw Pact--q.v.) 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.
Generic term for bank-issued national currency certificates of Georgia, introduced in early 1993. After introduction, value declined rapidly; in October 1993, the exchange rate was approximately 42,000 coupons per US$1.
National currency of Armenia, officially established for use concurrent with the Russian ruble in November 1993, to become single official currency in early 1994. In November 1993, the exchange rate was approximately 14 drams per US$1. A second national unit, the luma (100 to the dram), was introduced in February 1994.
Russian term, literally meaning "openness." Applied in the Soviet Union beginning in the mid-1980s to official permission for public discussion of issues and public access to information. Identified with the tenure of Mikhail S. Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union.
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 (q.v.). Normally computed over one-year periods.
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.
International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Established in 1945, a specialized agency affiliated with the United Nations and responsible for stabilizing international exchange rates and payments. Its main business is providing loans to its members when they experience balance of payments difficulties.
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.
National currency of Azerbaijan. Introduced in mid-1992 for use concurrent with the ruble; became sole official currency in January 1994. In October 1993, the exchange rate was 120 manats per US$1.
In the Ottoman Empire, the policy for governance of non-Muslim minorities. The system created autonomous communities ruled by religious leaders responsible to the central government.
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.
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 (q.v.) nations in Europe. Founded 1949. Its military and administrative structure remained intact after 1991, but early in 1994 the Partnership for Peace proposed phased membership to all East European nations and many former republics of the Soviet Union.
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--q.v.), 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 Union.
The smaller of the great two 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 within Islam.
The larger of the two fundamental divisions of Islam, opposed to the Shia (q.v.) on the issue of succession of Muslim leadership.
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 as inputs.
Volunteer Society for Assistance to the Army, Air Force, and Navy (DOSAAF)
In the Soviet national defense system, the agency responsible for paramilitary training of youth and reserve components.
Warsaw Pact
Informal name for the Warsaw Treaty Organization, a mutual defense organization founded in 1955. Included the Soviet Union, Albania (which withdrew in 1968), Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), Hungary, Poland, and Romania. The Warsaw Pact enabled the Soviet Union to station troops in the countries of Eastern Europe to oppose the forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO--q.v.). The pact was the basis for the invasions of Hungary (1956) and Czechoslovakia (1968). Disbanded in July 1991.
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 Guarantee 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 must first belong to the International Monetary Fund (IMF--q.v.).