New PDF release: Air War Bosnia. UN and Nato Airpower

By Tim Ripley

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Russia had attempted to keep Kazakstan and Uzbekistan in a new Russian ruble zone, but ruble distribution problems xxx ix and harsh conversion conditions forced those republics to fol­ low the independent course of Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan. The Tajikistani ruble (for value of the Tajikistani ruble—see Glossary) introduced in 1995 remained closely connected with its Russian counterpart. In 1996 Kazakstan and Kyrgyzstan established a new customs union and other economic ties with Russia and Belarus, hoping to gain selected advantages while avoiding large-scale concessions that would increase Russian influence.

Kyrgyzstan, ranked as the second-poorest republic in Central Asia, possesses a more limited range of natural resources than its neighbors. In the Soviet era, Kyrgyzstan contributed a spe­ cific group of minerals—antimony, gold, and mercury—to Moscow's economic plan. Of the three, only gold is a valuable asset in the post-Soviet world; it has attracted several Western investor companies. Kyrgyzstan has only limited amounts of coal and oil. The major energy resource is water power from the republic's fast-moving rivers.

While proclaiming the eventual goal of a market economy, economic planners have moved very slowly in privatization and in the creation of a lvii Western-style financial sector that would offer economic incen­ tives and encourage private entrepreneurial initiative. This strategy has succeeded in reducing the transition shocks expe­ rienced by other post-Soviet societies. Since independence, Uzbekistan's GDP has fallen about 20 percent, compared with the Central Asian average of 50 percent. Part of that modera­ tion results from Uzbekistan's initially more favorable situation in 1992.

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Air War Bosnia. UN and Nato Airpower by Tim Ripley

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