LECTURE NOTES

IINTRODUCTION

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About the terms Eastern Europe and FSU

 

This Lecture notes  will focus on the past and present developments in the two blocks of countries that  used to have communist governments and centrally planned economies before the fall of Communism. These are
1) countries of the Former Soviet Union (FSU), and 
2) East European countries.

When the Soviet Union fell apart some years ago, fifteen new countries emerged. They are here grouped by geographic and ethnic proximity into four groups:

1) Three countries with Slavic population: Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

2) Tree Baltic countries: Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.

3) Three Caucasian countries: Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

4) Five countries in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.

And at the end a single country Moldova , which lays between Ukraine and Romania and has Romanian speaking population. Ethnically it has no relation to any other country of the Former Soviet Union. The size and location of the FSU countries is depicted in the following maps:

 

 

 

                 

  

 

 

Eastern Europe was originally eight countries:  

GDR (East Germany), Poland, Hungary,
 Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria,
Romania and Albania. 

 

 

After the fall of communism

GDR
and FRG (West Germany) merged
into a single state,
Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Hercegovina,
and Macedonia
separated
from Yugoslavia 
Yugoslavia consists today of Serbia and Monte Negro only.
On January 1, 1993, Czechoslovakia split into
two independent states
the
Czech Republic and Slovakia..

 

 

Although traditionally referred to as East European, most of the countries of our interest and especially Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia are in the very center of Europe. Today they are usually called Central European or Central-East European countries (CEEC). Of course, the European part of the former Soviet Union  and specifically the part of Russia (up to Ural Mountains), three Baltic Republics (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania), Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova are geographically the true Eastern Europe .

 

 

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