), and the Writing with Style, short fiction workshop, in Banff, Alberta (2007). Author web site Rotting Christ have played in many countries outside their native Greece, including both Americas, Greater Europe, Russia, the United Kingdom, Malta and the Middle East. Several heavy metal festivals around the world have hosted the band, including the 2003 '' Wacken Open Air
programs, and a lasting legacy of ethnic tensions and environmental problems. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, five Central Asian countries gained independence, although none of the new republics could be considered a functional democracy. ('''more... (history of Central Asia)''') The '''AK-47''' is a gas-operated assault rifle designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov, produced by Russian manufacturer Izhevsk Mechanical Works and used in many Eastern
not share Crowley's increasing interest in the esoteric. Sutin 2000 (#Sut00). pp. 41–47. Churton 2011 (#Chu11). pp. 33–24. Crowley himself later stated that "I told him frankly that I had given my life to religion and that he did not fit into the scheme. I see now how imbecile I was, how hideously wrong and weak it is to reject any part of one's personality." Sutin 2000 (#Sut00). p. 47. In October
countries used rifles such as the relatively expensive M14 (M14 rifle), FN FAL, and H&K G3 (Heckler & Koch G3) battle rifles and M16 (M16 rifle) assault rifle during this time, the low production and materials costs of the AK-47 meant that the Russia USSR could produce and supply its allies at a very low cost. Because of its low cost, it was also duplicated or used as the basis (List of weapons influenced by the Kalashnikov design) for many other rifles
for Kazakhstan's traditional heavy industry products have resulted in a sharp contraction of the economy since 1991, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97 the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. The December 1996 signing of the Caspian Pipeline Consortium agreement to build a new pipeline from western Kazakhstan's Tengiz Field to the Black Sea
at the courts of Emperor Franz Josef (Franz Joseph I of Austria) of Austria and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. She settled in her familial home of Corfu after World War I. The Greek contribution to the city will be remembered by the pioneering social work at the Greek Orthodox Church (Eastern Orthodox Church) and the Panioty Fountain in the Maidan (Maidan (Kolkata))—named after Demetrius Panioty, personal secretary to the "friend of India," Lord Ripon. Soviet Persecution On 18 October 1921 the so-called ''Crimean Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic'' was created as part of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (i.e. part of Russia). Under the Soviet regime many ''Volksdeutsche'' were persecuted by gangs of Russian peasants as landowning ''Kulaks'' or class enemy ''bourgeoisie''. In 1939, two years before their deportation (Population transfer in the Soviet Union) to Central Asia, around 60,000 of the 1.1 million inhabitants of Crimea were German and "they had their own administrative raion in the Crimean Republic." Valdis O. Lumans, ''Himmler's Auxiliaries: the Volksdeutsche Mittelstelle and the German minorities of Europe, 1939-1945'' (1993), page.128. . Commons:Category:Russia WikiPedia:Russia Dmoz:Regional Europe Russia
is becoming a requirement in the business world, and many younger Russians in the cities (particularly Moscow or St. Petersburg but also elsewhere) know enough English to communicate. Elsewhere English is generally nonexistent, so take a phrase book and be prepared for slow communication with a lot of interpretive gestures. Russia has hundreds of languages and claims to support most of them. Soviet linguists documented them in the first few decades of the USSR and made sure they were given Cyrillic writing systems (except Karelian, Veps, Ingrian, Votic and Ter Sami). Some were made local co-official languages. Southern Russia is lined with Turkic, Mongolian, and Tungusic language; the northern with Finnic and Samoyed tongues. The southwest corner has a variety of Caucasian languages; the northeast has a few Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages. However, a smattering of Russian is will greatly aid travellers no matter where they are. The Russian Orthodox religion is one of the oldest branches of Christianity in the world and continues to have a very large following, despite having been repressed during the communist period. The language spoken in Russian Orthodox church services is ''Old Church Slavonic'', which differs considerably from modern Russian. Russia hosts several cultural and educational centers of German, French, English, Spanish, Japanese and other foreign languages. *French centers belong to Alliance Francaise and are located in Yekaterinburg , Irkutsk, Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Perm, Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Saratov, Tolyatti, Vladivostok. *German is taught at Sprachlernzentern in Barnaul , Yaroslavl, Yekaterinburg, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnoyarsk, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Samara, Sergiev Posad, Tolyatti, Tomsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Volzhsky. *IELTS schools are numerous and one can find them in all big and small cities, the number of accredited exam centers, however is shorter but enough official centers of Japanese language include Khabarovsk , Vladivostok, Nizhny Novgorod, Saint Petersburg, Moscow. *Institute of Cervantes is open in Moscow.is immense, and extraordinarily long on attractions for visitors, although many lie in the hard-to-reach stretches of the planet's most remote lands. The best known sights are in and around the nation's principal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Historical attractions thumb 300px Fortress at Derbent (Image:Derbent winter.jpg) Russia's history is the number one reason why tourists come to this country, following the draw of its fascinating, sometimes surreal, oftentimes brutal, and always consequential national saga. Early history Derbent, in the Caucasian Republic of Dagestan, is Russia's most '''ancient city''', dating back 5,000 years. Home to the legendary Gates of Alexander, the walled fortress-city, alternately controlled by Caucasian Albania, Persian empires, and the Mongols (until its eighteenth century conquest by the Russian Empire) was for 1500 years the key to controlling trade between Western Russia and the Middle East. Other ancient peoples of Russia left less evidence of their civilization, but you can find traces of the Kurgan people of the Urals, in particular the ruined pagan shrines and burial mounds around the old capital of Tobolsk and throughout the Republic of Khakassia. Of '''early Russia''''s city states, one of the best preserved and most interesting include Staraya Ladoga, regarded as the nation's first capital, established by the Viking Rurik, to whom the first line of Tsars traced their lineage. Novgorod, founded in 859, was the most important city of Kievan Rus in modern Russia (with Kiev itself in modern day Ukraine), and home to Russia's first kremlin. '''Early Medieval Russia''' saw two major civilizations, that of the independent Novgorod Republic and the Mongol Empire, which dominated the Russian principalities of former Vladimir-Suzdal (whose initial capital of Vladimir retains an excellent collection of twelfth century monuments and kremlin) and Kievan Rus. While the Mongols left mostly devastation of historical sites in their wake, the wealthy trading nation to the north developed grand cities at the capital of Novgorod, as well as Staraya Ladoga, Pskov, and Oreshek (modern day Shlisselburg), all of which have extant medieval kremlins and a multitude of beautiful early Russian Orthodox churches filled with medieval ecclesiastical frescoes. As Mongol power waned, the '''Grand Duchy of Moscow''' rose to power, and particularly under the later reign of Ivan the Terrible, consolidated power in all of Western Russia, including the conquest of the Kazan Khanate (and establishing another grand citadel there) and concentrated power in Moscow, building its kremlin, St Basil's Cathedral, and several other of Russia's best known historical sites. The cities of the Golden Ring surrounding Moscow likewise saw significant construction during this period. A really neat off-the-beaten-path destination also rose to prominence in the extreme north of the country—the Solovetsky Monastery (Solovetsky Islands)-fortress on the islands of the White Sea, which served as a bulwark against Swedish naval incursions. Imperial history thumb 300px The Grand Cascade in Peterhof (Image:PeterhofGrandCascade.JPG) Ivan the Terrible's reign ended in tragedy, the Time of Troubles, which only saw destruction and ruin, and you will find little evidence of civilizational development until the establishment of the '''Romanov Dynasty''' in the early seventeenth century. Peter the Great, after having consolidated power, began the construction of his entirely new city of Saint Petersburg on the Gulf of Finland, the ''Window to the West''. Saint Petersburg from its foundation through the neoclassical period became one of the world's most magically beautiful cities, and the list of must-see attractions is far too long to be discussed here. The surrounding summer palaces at Peterhof, Pavlovsk, and Pushkin are also unbelievably opulent attractions. The '''Russian Revolution''' was one of the twentieth century's defining moments, and history buffs will find much to see in Saint Petersburg. The two best known sites are found at the Winter Palace, which the communists stormed to depose Tsar Nicolas II, and the beautiful Peter and Paul Fortress on the Neva River, which housed numerous revolutionary luminaries in its cold, hopeless prison. For those interested in the grisly end of the Romanov family of Nicholas II, perhaps inspired by the story of Anastasia, look no further than the Church on the Blood in Yekaterinburg, built on the spot of his family's execution. Moscow, on the other hand, has the most famous monument from the revolutionary period—Lenin's himself, with his embalmed body on display in Red Square. Soviet history The '''Soviet Era''' saw a drastic change in Russian history, and the development of a virtually brand new civilization. Mass industrialization programs came with a new aesthetic ethos which emphasized functionality (combined with grandiosity). The enormous constructivist buildings and statues of the twentieth century are often derided as ugly monstrosities, but they are hardly boring (whereas the industrial complexes polluting cities from the Belarussian border to the Pacific are genuine eyesores). Both '''World War II''' and Stalin's reign of terror made their presence felt greatly upon Russia's cultural heritage. The bombings involved in the former virtually wiped out anything of historical interest in Russia's extreme west (the Chernozemye region) and damaged much more throughout European Russia. It did, however, lead to the construction of monuments to the war throughout the entire country. For military buffs, a visit to Mamaev Kurgan, the museum complex at Volgograd (former Stalingrad) is an excellent destination. Kursk, for its enormous tank battle, and Saint Petersburg, site of the Siege of Leningrad, make interesting destinations. thumb 300px The Motherland Calls, looming over the Battlefield of Stalingrad, atop Volgograd#See Mamayev Kurgan (Image:Mamayev Kurgan, The Motherland Calls.jpeg) Maybe the saddest of the Soviet legacies is the network of prison camps known as the '''Gulag Archipelago'''. The term ''Archipelago'' really does not capture the scope of suffering across 10,000 kilometers of cold steppe. Perhaps the most interesting sites for those interested in this legacy are on the Solovetsky Islands in the White Sea, and the devastatingly bleak Kolyma gulag system of Magadan Oblast. If you were hoping to see where Alexandr Solzhenitsyn was imprisoned, you'll have to travel beyond the Russian borders to Ekibastuz in Kazakhstan. Cultural sights Russia has several of the world's greatest '''museums''', particularly in the field of the '''visual arts'''. The '''Hermitage Museum''' in Saint Petersburg is the true star, with an enormous collection amassed first by the wealthy tsars (particularly by its founder, Catherine the Great) and later by the Soviets and the Red Army (which seized enormous treasure from the Nazis, who in turn had seized their bounty from their wars around the globe). Equally impressive is the edifice housing the collection on display, the magnificent Winter Palace of the Romanov Dynasty. Saint Petersburg's often overlooked Russian Museum should also be a priority, as it has the country's second best collection of purely Russian art, from icons of the tenth century on through the modern movements, in all of which revolutionary Russia led the charge ahead of the rest of the world. Moscow's art museums, only slightly less well known, include the '''Tretyakov Gallery''' (the premiere collection of Russian art) and the Pushkin Museum of Western Art. Other museum exhibitions certainly worth seeking out are the collections of '''antiquities''' in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, particularly at the Hermitage Museum, and the Armory in the Moscow Kremlin. For military buffs, Russian '''military museums''' are often fantastic, truly best-in-the-world, regardless of whether you are at one of the main ones in the Moscow—the Central Armed Forces Museum, Kubinka Tank Museum, Central Air Force Museum, Museum of the Great Patriotic War (WWII), or way off in the provinces. The other category in which Russian museums outshine the rest of the world would be within the '''literary''' and '''musical''' spheres. Nary a town visited, if only for a day, by Alexander Pushkin is without some small museum dedicated to his life and works. The best of the big city museums include the Bulgakov Museum in Moscow and the Anna Akhmatova, Pushkin, and Dostoevsky museums in Saint Petersburg. Great adventures await in quieter parts of the country, at Dostoevsky's summer house in Staraya Russa, Tolstoy's "inaccessible literary stronghold" at Yasnaya Polyana, Chekhov's country estate at Melikhovo, Tchaikovsky's house in Klin or remote hometown of Votkinsk in Udmurtia, Rakhmaninov's summer home in Ivanovka, Pushkin's estate at Pushkinskie Gory, or Turgenev's country estate at Spasskoe-Lutovinovo near Mtsensk. The best museums are in the countryside. For classical music lovers, the apartment museums of various nineteenth and century composers in Saint Petersburg are worth more than just nostalgic wanderings—they often have small performances by incredible musicians. thumb 290px Kazan (File:Кул шариф 4.jpg)'s Qolşärif Mosque All tourists in Russia find themselves looking at a lot of churches. Ecclesiastical architecture is a significant source of pride among Russians, and the onion dome is without question a preeminent national symbol. The twentieth century, sadly, saw cultural vandalism in the destruction of said architecture on an unprecedented scale. But the immense number of beautiful old monasteries and churches ensured that an enormous collection remains. The best known, as usual, are in Saint Petersburg and Moscow, in particular the old baroque Church on the Spilled Blood, Alexander Nevsky Lavra, and the monumental Kazan and Saint Isaac's Cathedrals in the former, and Saint Basil's Cathedral and the massive Church of the Annunciation in the latter. The spiritual home of the Russian Orthodox Church is to be found at the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius in Sergiev Posad on the Golden Ring circuit (lavra is the designation given to the most important monasteries, of which there are only two in the country), although the physical headquarters of the Church is at Danilov Monastery in Moscow. Kirillo-Belozersky Monastery (Kirillo) in Vologda Oblast is often considered Russia's second most important (and is a neat way to get off the beaten track). Other particularly famous churches and monasteries are to be found at Saint Sophia's Cathedral in Novgorod, the Cathedral of the Assumption in Vladimir, the fascinating Old Cathedral of Königsberg (home to Immanuel Kant's tomb) in Kaliningrad, Novodevichy Convent in Moscow, Optina Putsin (the basis for Father Zossima's monastery in ''The Brothers Karamazov''), and Volokolamsk Monastery (Volokolamsk) in West Moscow Oblast. Kizhi Pogost (Kizhi) on Lake Onega and Valaam Monastery on Lake Ladoga are also popular sites, especially with those cruising between Saint Petersburg and Moscow. Ecclesiastical architecture does not, however, end with the Russian Orthodox Church—Russia also has a wealth of Islamic and Buddhist architecture. The nation's most important mosques are the Qolşärif Mosque in Kazan (the largest mosque in Europe) and the Blue Mosque in Saint Petersburg (originally the largest mosque in Europe!). Notably absent from that list is the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, which was formerly considered the principal mosque in the country, but was very controversially demolished in 2011. Russia's most prominent Buddhist temples are in both Kalmykia—Europe's lone Buddhist republic, and the areas closer to Mongolia, especially around Ulan Ude in Buryatia and Kyzyl, Tuva. Natural attractions While the distances are great between them, Russia's natural wonders are impressive and worth seeking out for nature lovers. The best known destinations are far to the east in Siberia, with Lake Baikal known as its "jewel." At the extreme eastern end of Russia, nearly all the way to Japan and Alaska, is wild Kamchatka, where you will find the Valley of the Geisers, lakes of acid, volcanoes, and grizzlies galore. thumb 320px Yugyd Va National Park, in the Komi Virgin Forests (File:Саблинский хребет.jpg) Other highlights of the '''Far East''' include the idyllic (if kind of cold) Kuril Islands to the south of Kamchatka, whale watching off the coast of arctic Wrangel Island, the remote Sikhote-Alin mountain range (Primorsky Krai), home to the Amur Tiger, and beautiful Sakhalin. The nature reserves throughout these parts are spectacular as well, but all will require permits in advance and specialized tours. The northern half of Russia stretching thousands of miles from the Komi Republic through Kamchatka is basically empty wilderness, mostly mountainous, and always beautiful. Getting to these areas is problematic, as most are not served by any roads, infrastructure, or really anything else. Russia's great north-south rivers are the main arteries for anyone moving through the area: the Pechora, Ob, Yenisey, Lena, and Kolyma. Beyond that, expect to be in canoes, helicopters, and military issue jeeps will be the only way of getting around, and you'll likely want to go with a guide. Russia's ''other'' mountainous territory is in its extreme south, in the Northern Caucasus. There you will find Europe's tallest mountains, which tower in height over the Alps, including mighty Elbrus (Kabardino-Balkaria). Favorite Russian resorts in the area include those at Sochi (which will host the next Winter Olympic Games) and Dombai. As you go further east in the North Caucasus, the landscapes become ever more dramatic, from the lush forested gorges and snow capped peaks of Chechnya to the stark desert mountains of Dagestan, sloping downwards to the Caspian Sea. Throughout the entire country, there are over a hundred National Parks and Nature Reserves (''zapovedniki''). The former are open to the public, and considerably more wild and undeveloped than you would find in, say, the United States. The latter are preserved principally for scientific research and are often not possible to visit. Permits are issued for certain reserves, but only through licensed tour operators. If you have the opportunity, though, take it! Some of the most spectacular parks are in the aforementioned Kamchatka, but also in the Urals, particularly in the Altai Mountains (Altai Republic and Altai Krai). Itineraries *Circum-Baikal Railway is the road on the shore of Baikal Lake. *Golden Ring — the classic route around ancient cities and towns in Central Russia crowned with golden cupolas of its churches and convents. *Green Ring of Moscow — Natural Parks and Reserves in Moscow vicinities. *Silver Ring — the chain of Northern towns surrounding Saint Petersburg. *Trans-Siberian Railway — the endless train ride that needs no introduction. Do thumb 280px The lavish Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg (Image:Mariinsky Theatre interior.jpg) * '''Music''' — Russia has a long musical tradition and is well known for its composers and performers. There is no doubt you will find more orchestra performances the bigger the city. Classic music is played in various theaters, where domestic and guest concerts are scheduled for weeks ahead. Besides that, the state supports folk ensembles in smaller towns or even villages and singing babushkas gatherings are still a well-established tradition in many areas. In areas traditionally inhabited by non-Russian ethnic groups, you may encounter ethnic music of every possible sound, like throat singing in Tuva or rare instruments of ChukotkaSometimes only specialists can differ the Cossack songs of the Urals from the Cossack songs of Krasnodar. Professional jazz players meet at ''Jazz over Volga'' festival in Yaroslavl. Walking along the main street on a Sunday will definitely enable you to hear guitar, saxophone, harmonium or flute in any city. * '''Military Parade''' on the Victory Day, which is celebrated on the 9th of May is commonly all-Russia holiday with city squares getting full of uniformed men and military vehicles both dated to Great Patriotic War WWII and new ones. The '''Defender of Fatherland Day''' is a holiday when women in families or at work congratulate their men and co-workers. It happens on 23, February, just a couple of weeks before men return the favor to ladies on '''International Women's Day''', 8 March. * '''Dancing'''. Russian classic ballet is renowned in the world and some national troops exist even in such remote areas like Dagestan or Yakutia. Lezginka is a vibrant folk dance, always performed at big Caucasian (Caucasus) events. If you are interested in folk style then watching a concert of ''Igor Moiseyev Ensemble'' alive is simply a must. Out of big cities you may easily find Irish dance, belly and Ball clubs, not to mention hip-hop and all. * '''Cinema festivals'''. The major movie event in Russia is '''Moscow International Film Festival''' held at the end of June during 10 days and boasting first-class stars from all over the world. '''Kinotavr''' of Sochi, Moscow's '''Festival of Latin America''' and international film festival '''Zerkalo''', named after Andrei Tarkovsky, in Ivanovo are also of interest for film fans. Whitewater rafting * Team Gorky Lake at the Alexandrinsky Theatre.jpg thumb 300px Swan Lake, quite possibly performed weekly in Russia! The association between Russia and its two biggest metropolises, Moscow and St Petersburg, is strong in the minds of tourists, but given its vast expanses and low population density, Russia is a nature lovers paradise as well. Russia has a network of exceptional natural areas, comprising 35 National Parks and 100 Nature Reserves (''zapovednik'') covering a total land mass larger than Germany. List of Russian Nature Reserves (in Russian) one can find here Some Russian Nature Reserves on the internet: * Commons:Category:Russia WikiPedia:Russia Dmoz:Regional Europe Russia
url http: www.fao.org news story en item 157942 icode title Innovations and investments urged to modernize Russian forest sector www.fao.org publisher FAO date 25 September 2012 accessdate 4 May 2013 the considerable potential of Russian forests is underutilized and Russia's share of the global trade in forest products is less than four percent.
the People's Republic of China, Nico Lunig Event from Germany, Hanwha Corp. from Korea, Orion Art Production International in Russia, Pyro Spectacular in South Africa, Flash Art Group in United Arab Emirates, Celtic Fireworks Ltd. in the United Kingdom and America Melrose Pyrotechnics Inc. from the United States. The event host, La Mancha Group of the Philippines displayed a colorful fireworks demonstration at the last day. La Mancha organized the 1st International Fireworks Festival on December 2002 and the World Pyro Olympics Exhibition in March and April 2004. Australia was awarded as champion in the said competition. Debuts *Team from '''Australia''', '''China''', '''Germany''', '''Korea''', '''Philippines''', '''Russia''', '''South Africa''', '''United Arab Emirates''', '''United Kingdom''', and '''United States''' competed in the inaugural games in 2005. '''Zubtsov''' ( Commons:Category:Russia WikiPedia:Russia Dmoz:Regional Europe Russia
Koriman, who was a pediatrician. Gale, Thomson. Lotfi Asker Zadeh Biography ''World of Computer Science'' The Soviet government at this time courted foreign correspondents, and the family lived well while in Baku. McNeil & Freiberger, p.18 Zadeh attended elementary school for three years there, which he has said "had a significant
into radio work. Barker, who had previously been known by his birth name "Ronald", was now referred to as the shortened form "Ronnie", after a director changed it in the credits, although he did not tell Barker. His first radio appearance was in 1956, playing Lord Russett in ''Floggit's''. He went on to play multiple characters, but primarily the lookout Able Seaman 'Fatso' Johnson and Lieutenant-Commander Stanton, in ''The Navy Lark'', a navy based sitcom (situation comedy) on the BBC Light Programme (BBC Radio 2), which ran from 1959 to 1977, with Barker featuring in some 300 episodes. Commons:Category:Russia WikiPedia:Russia Dmoz:Regional Europe Russia
the same time each season. Only a small fraction of Sami have subsisted on reindeer herding over the past century; as the most colorful part of the population, they are well known. But as elsewhere in Europe, transhumance is dying out. '''Julia Nikolayevna Soldatova''' ( Commons:Category:Russia WikiPedia:Russia Dmoz:Regional Europe Russia
'''Russia''' ( Extending across the entirety of northern Asia (North Asia) and much of Eastern Europe, Russia spans nine time zones (Time in Russia) and incorporates a wide range of environments (Environment of Russia) and landforms.
The nation's history began with that of the East Slavs, who emerged as a recognizable group in Europe between the 3rd and 8th centuries AD. ", ''Journal of World-Systems Research'' Vol. 12 (no. 2), pp. 219–229 (2006).
Following the Russian Revolution, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic became the largest and leading constituent of the Soviet Union, the world's first constitutionally socialist state and a recognized superpower, Rozhnov, Konstantin, "Who won World War II?". BBC. The Soviet era saw some of the most significant technological achievements (Timeline of Russian inventions and technology records) of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite (Sputnik), and the first man in space (Yuri Gagarin). Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Russian SFSR reconstituted itself as the Russian Federation and is recognized as the continuing legal personality (the sole successor state (Succession of states)) of the Union state (Government of the Soviet Union).
The Russian economy ranks as the ninth largest (List of countries by GDP (nominal)) by nominal GDP and sixth largest (List of countries by GDP (PPP)) by purchasing power parity in 2014. GDP, PPP (current international $) Data Table Russia's extensive mineral and energy resources, the largest reserves in the world, have made it one of the largest producers of oil (oil producer) and natural gas (natural gas producer) globally. The country is one of the five recognized (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) nuclear weapons states and possesses the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction (Russia and weapons of mass destruction). Russia is a great power and a permanent member (Permanent members of the United Nations Security Council) of the United Nations Security Council, a member of the G20, the Council of Europe, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Eurasian Economic Community, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), as well as being the leading member of the Commonwealth of Independent States.