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 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.
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 native speakers.
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.