- 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
- 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 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
- 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 countries.
- 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), and Soghdian.
- 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 per US$1.
- A dualistic religious movement founded in Persia, third century A.D.,
incorporating elements of Christianity and Iranian and Indian religions.
- 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 Union.
- 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
- Currency of the Soviet Union; then, beginning in 1992, of Russia. In
February 1997, the exchange rate was 5,670 rubles to US$1.
- 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 within Islam.
- 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 Muslim leadership.
- 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 as inputs.
- 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 in India.