History: The region became part of Russian Turkestan in 1881 and a republic of the USSR in 1925.
In Oct. 1991, Turkmenistan adopted a declaration of independence, and became a member of the CIS in Dec.
Political power centered around the former Communist party apparatus.
Economy: Maie, grapes, fruit and vegetables, cotton (key foreign exchange earner), wool, fur are the main agricultural products. Declining agricultural production has forced Turkmeni-stan to import most of its foodstuffs. Natural resources: Ozocerite, oil, coal, sulphur, salt magnesium. Extensive oil and gas reserves give Turkmenistan an edge over other former Soviet republics. Industry: Food, textile, chemical, cement, agricultural implements, ferroconcerete, footwear, knitwear. The country is self-sufficient in electricity.
History: Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu is a scattered group of nine small atolls in the Western Pacific Ocean and one of the world’s smallest independent nations. It separated from the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1975 under the name Tuvalu. Full independence was granted on October 1, 1978.
Economy: The poor quality of the soil permits subsistence farming of coconuts only. Most of the foreign exchange is earned through the sale of postage stamps and coins, copra and from remittances by Tuvaluans abroad.
Tuvalu was admitted to the UN as its 189th member in Sept, 2000.
History: The Ukraine in south-west former USSR became independent in 1991. It has a Black Sea coast and western frontiers with Romania, Hungary, Poland and Czechoslovakia and is bounded north by Belorussian and otherwise by Russia. Ukraine was one of the founder members of the CIS.
It is the most densely populated of the former Soviet republics. The second richest former soviet republic, Ukraine contains some of the richest land in former USSR. It is considered the Soviet wheat belt.
In Apr. ’86, the world’s worst nuclear power plant disaster occurred in Chernobyl, Ukraine. The plant has been closed for good.
In June, ’95, Russia and Ukraine reached agreement on the disputed Black Sea fleet at Sevastopol. In June, 1996, Ukraine became a nuclear weapon-free nation with the transfer of the last of its warheads to Russia. A new Constitution legalizing private property and establishing Ukrainian as the sloe official language was approved in the same month.
Economy: Wheat, sugar beet, sunflower, cotton, flax, tobacco, soya, fruit and vegetables, meat and milk are the main agricultural products. Natural resources: Coal, iron ore, manganese, oil, slat and chemicals. Industry: Ferrous metallurgical, chemical, machinery, paper, television, consumer goods and food industries.