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The IMF and World Bank ask the former Soviet republics to join

IN ANOTHER MILESTONE ON THE INCREASINGLY bumpy road to capitalism, Russia and most of the other former Soviet republics were formally offered membership in the world's two major financial organizations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The step has symbolic importance: fueled by cold war animosities, the Soviet Union never joined the global bodies, formed by the Western powers at the Bretton Woods monetary conference in 1944. But last week's move has immediate practical implications as well. It will trigger the release of much of the $24 billion in aid that has been pledged by the major industrialized nations...

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