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Central Asia :: KYRGYZSTAN
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KYRGYZSTAN
  • Introduction :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of the territory of present-day Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to the Russian Empire in 1876. The Kyrgyz staged a major revolt against the Tsarist Empire in 1916 in which almost one-sixth of the Kyrgyz population was killed. Kyrgyzstan became a Soviet republic in 1936 and achieved independence in 1991 when the USSR dissolved. Nationwide demonstrations in the spring of 2005 resulted in the ouster of President Askar AKAEV, who had run the country since 1990. Former Prime Minister Kurmanbek BAKIEV overwhelmingly won the presidential election in the summer of 2005. Over the next few years, he manipulated the parliament to accrue new powers for the presidency. In July 2009, after months of harassment against his opponents and media critics, BAKIEV won reelection in a presidential campaign that the international community deemed flawed. In April 2010, violent protests in Bishkek led to the collapse of the BAKIEV regime and his eventual flight to Minsk, Belarus. His successor, Roza OTUNBAEVA, served as transitional president until Almazbek ATAMBAEV was inaugurated in December 2011, marking the first peaceful transfer of presidential power in independent Kyrgyzstan's history. Continuing concerns include: the trajectory of democratization, endemic corruption, poor interethnic relations, border security vulnerabilities, and potential terrorist threats.
  • Geography :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • Central Asia, west of China, south of Kazakhstan
    41 00 N, 75 00 E
    Asia
    total: 199,951 sq km
    land: 191,801 sq km
    water: 8,150 sq km
    country comparison to the world: 87
    slightly smaller than South Dakota
    total: 4,573 km
    border countries (4): China 1,063 km, Kazakhstan 1,212 km, Tajikistan 984 km, Uzbekistan 1,314 km
    0 km (landlocked)
    none (landlocked)
    dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone
    peaks of the Tien Shan mountain range and associated valleys and basins encompass the entire country
    mean elevation: 2,988 m
    elevation extremes: lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m
    highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m
    abundant hydropower; gold, rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc
    agricultural land: 55.4%
    arable land 6.7%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 48.3%
    forest: 5.1%
    other: 39.5% (2011 est.)
    10,233 sq km (2012)
    23.62 cu km (2011)
    total: 8.01 cu km/yr (3%/4%/93%)
    per capita: 1,558 cu m/yr (2006)
    NA
    water pollution; many people get their water directly from contaminated streams and wells; as a result, water-borne diseases are prevalent; increasing soil salinity from faulty irrigation practices
    party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
    signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
    landlocked; entirely mountainous, dominated by the Tien Shan range; 94% of the country is 1,000 m above sea level with an average elevation of 2,750 m; many tall peaks, glaciers, and high-altitude lakes
  • People and Society :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)
    adjective: Kyrgyzstani
    Kyrgyz 70.9%, Uzbek 14.3%, Russian 7.7%, Dungan 1.1%, other 5.9% (includes Uyghur, Tajik, Turk, Kazakh, Tatar, Ukrainian, Korean, German) (2009 est.)
    Kyrgyz (official) 71.4%, Uzbek 14.4%, Russian (official) 9%, other 5.2% (2009 est.)
    Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%
    5,664,939 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 115
    0-14 years: 29.92% (male 867,668/female 827,235)
    15-24 years: 18.18% (male 523,347/female 506,453)
    25-54 years: 39.55% (male 1,096,430/female 1,144,265)
    55-64 years: 7.34% (male 180,874/female 234,733)
    65 years and over: 5.01% (male 108,776/female 175,158) (2015 est.)
    population pyramid:
    total dependency ratio: 55.3%
    youth dependency ratio: 48.8%
    elderly dependency ratio: 6.6%
    potential support ratio: 15.2% (2015 est.)
    total: 26 years
    male: 25 years
    female: 27 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 147
    1.11% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 109
    22.98 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 68
    6.65 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 142
    -5.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 194
    urban population: 35.7% of total population (2015)
    rate of urbanization: 1.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
    BISHKEK (capital) 865,000 (2015)
    at birth: 1.07 male(s)/female
    0-14 years: 1.05 male(s)/female
    15-24 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
    25-54 years: 0.96 male(s)/female
    55-64 years: 0.77 male(s)/female
    65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female
    total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
    22.6
    note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)
    76 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 86
    total: 27.73 deaths/1,000 live births
    male: 31.94 deaths/1,000 live births
    female: 23.24 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 67
    total population: 70.36 years
    male: 66.19 years
    female: 74.8 years (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 155
    2.66 children born/woman (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 73
    36.3% (2012)
    6.5% of GDP (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 77
    1.97 physicians/1,000 population (2013)
    4.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)
    improved:
    urban: 96.7% of population
    rural: 86.2% of population
    total: 90% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 3.3% of population
    rural: 13.8% of population
    total: 10% of population (2015 est.)
    improved:
    urban: 89.1% of population
    rural: 95.6% of population
    total: 93.3% of population
    unimproved:
    urban: 10.9% of population
    rural: 4.4% of population
    total: 6.7% of population (2015 est.)
    0.26% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    9,300 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    400 (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 95
    13.3% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    2.8% (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    6.8% of GDP (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 25
    definition: age 15 and over can read and write
    total population: 99.5%
    male: 99.6%
    female: 99.4% (2015 est.)
    total: 13 years
    male: 13 years
    female: 13 years (2014)
    total number: 563,920
    percentage: 40.3%
    note: data represent children ages 5-17 (2007 est.)
    total: 13.4%
    male: 12%
    female: 15.8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 80
  • Government :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic
    conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan
    local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy
    local short form: Kyrgyzstan
    former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic
    etymology: a combination of the Turkic words "kyrg" (forty) and "-yz" (tribes) with the Persian suffix "-stan" (country) creating the meaning "Land of the forty tribes"; the name refers to the forty clans united by the legendary Kyrgyz hero, MANAS
    parliamentary republic
    name: Bishkek
    geographic coordinates: 42 52 N, 74 36 E
    time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
    7 provinces (oblustar, singular - oblus) and 2 cities* (shaarlar, singular - shaar); Batken Oblusu, Bishkek Shaary*, Chuy Oblusu (Bishkek), Jalal-Abad Oblusu, Naryn Oblusu, Osh Oblusu, Osh Shaary*, Talas Oblusu, Ysyk-Kol Oblusu (Karakol)
    note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
    31 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
    Independence Day, 31 August (1991)
    previous 1993; latest adopted 27 June 2010, effective 2 July 2010; note - the current constitution prohibits any change until 2020 (2016)
    civil law system which includes features of French civil law and Russian Federation laws
    has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
    citizenship by birth: no
    citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Kyrgyzstan
    dual citizenship recognized: yes, but only if a mutual treaty on dual citizenship is in force
    residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years
    18 years of age; universal
    chief of state: President Almazbek ATAMBAEV (since 1 December 2011)
    head of government: Prime Minister Sooronbay JEENBEKOV (since 13 April 2016)
    cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president; defense and security committee chairs appointed by the president
    elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a single 6-year term; election last held on 30 October 2011 (next to be held in 2017); prime minister nominated by the majority party or majority coalition in the Supreme Council, appointed by the president
    election results: Almazbek ATAMBAEV elected president; percent of vote - Almazbek ATAMBAEV (SDPK) 63.2%, Adakhan MADUMAROV (All Kyrgyzstan) 14.7%, Kamchybek TASHIEV (Homeland) 14.3%, other 7.8%; Sooronbay JEENBEKOV elected prime minister; Supreme Council vote - 115 to 0
    description: unicameral Supreme Council or Jogorku Kengesh (120 seats; members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
    elections: last held on 4 October 2015 (next to be held in 2020)
    election results: Supreme Council - percent of vote by party - SDPK 27.4%, Respublika-Ata-Jurt 20.1%, Kyrgyzstan Party 12.9%, Onuguu-Progress 9.3%, Bir Bol 8.5%, Ata-Meken 7.8%, other 14%; seats by party - SDPK 38, Respublika-Ata-Jurt 28, Kyrgyzstan Party 18, Onuguu-Progress 13, Bir Bol 12, Ata-Meken 11
    highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of 25 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
    judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges appointed by the Supreme Council on the recommendation of the president; Supreme Court judges serve for 10 years, Constitutional Court judges serve for 15 years; mandatory retirement at age 70 for judges of both courts
    subordinate courts: Higher Court of Arbitration; oblast (provincial) and city courts
    Ata-Jurt-Respublika (Homeland-Republic) [Omurbek BABANOV, Kamchybek TASHIEV]
    Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAEV]
    Bir Bol (Stay United) [Altynbek SULAIMANOV]
    Kyrgyzstan Party [Kanatbek ISAEV, Kanybek IMANALIEV]
    Onuguu-Progress [Bakyt TOROBAEV]
    Social-Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan or SDPK [Almazbek ATAMBAEV]
    Adilet (Justice) Legal Clinic [Cholpon JAKUPOVA]
    Citizens Against Corruption [Tolekan ISMAILOVA]
    Coalition for Democracy and Civil Society [Dinara OSHURAKHUNOVA]
    Kylym Shamy (Torch of the Century) [Aziza ABDIRASULOVA]
    Precedent Partnership Group [Nurbek TOKTAKUNOV]
    Societal Analysis Public Association [Rita KARASARTOVA]
    Union of True Muslims [Nurlan MOTUEV]
    ADB, CICA, CIS, CSTO, EAEC, EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EITI (compliant country), FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNISFA, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
    chief of mission: Ambassador Kadyr TOKTOGULOV (since 23 February 2015)
    chancery: 2360 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20008
    telephone: [1] (202) 449-9822-23
    FAX: [1] (202) 386-7550
    consulate(s): New York
    chief of mission: Ambassador Sheila GWALTNEY (14 October 2015)
    embassy: 171 Prospect Mira, Bishkek 720016
    mailing address: use embassy street address
    telephone: [996] (312) 551-241, (517) 777-217
    FAX: [996] (312) 551-264
    red field with a yellow sun in the center having 40 rays representing the 40 Kyrgyz tribes; on the obverse side the rays run counterclockwise, on the reverse, clockwise; in the center of the sun is a red ring crossed by two sets of three lines, a stylized representation of a "tunduk" - the crown of a traditional Kyrgyz yurt; red symbolizes bravery and valor, the sun evinces peace and wealth
    gyrfalcon; national colors: red, yellow
    name: "Kyrgyz Respublikasynyn Mamlekettik Gimni" (National Anthem of the Kyrgyz Republic)
    lyrics/music: Djamil SADYKOV and Eshmambet KULUEV/Nasyr DAVLESOV and Kalyi MOLDOBASANOV
    note: adopted 1992
  • Economy :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with an economy dominated by minerals extraction, agriculture, and reliance on remittances from citizens working abroad. Cotton, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only cotton is exported in any quantity. Other exports include gold, mercury, uranium, natural gas, and - in some years - electricity. The country has sought to attract foreign investment to expand its export base, including construction of hydroelectric dams, but a difficult investment climate and an ongoing legal battle with Canadian investors in the nation’s largest gold mine deter potential investors. Remittances from Kyrgyz migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan are equivalent to about a quarter of Kyrgyzstan’s GDP.
    Following independence, Kyrgyzstan rapidly carried out market reforms, such as improving the regulatory system and instituting land reform. Kyrgyzstan was the first Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) country to be accepted into the World Trade Organization. The government has privatized much of its ownership shares in public enterprises. Despite these reforms, the country suffered a severe drop in production in the early 1990s and has again faced slow growth in recent years as the global financial crisis and declining oil prices have damaged economies across Central Asia.
    Kyrgyz leaders hope the country’s August 2015 accession to the Eurasian Economic Union will bolster trade and investment, but slowing economies in Russia and China, low commodity prices, and currency fluctuations continue to hamper economic growth. The keys to future growth include progress in fighting corruption, improving administrative transparency, restructuring domestic industry, and attracting foreign aid and investment.
    $20.1 billion (2015 est.)
    $19.42 billion (2014 est.)
    $18.75 billion (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 146
    $6.65 billion (2015 est.)
    3.5% (2015 est.)
    3.6% (2014 est.)
    10.5% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 83
    $3,400 (2015 est.)
    $3,300 (2014 est.)
    $3,200 (2013 est.)
    note: data are in 2015 US dollars
    country comparison to the world: 181
    14.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    10% of GDP (2014 est.)
    11% of GDP (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 125
    household consumption: 96.2%
    government consumption: 16.2%
    investment in fixed capital: 31.1%
    investment in inventories: 2.6%
    exports of goods and services: 32.9%
    imports of goods and services: -79% (2015 est.)
    agriculture: 18%
    industry: 25.5%
    services: 56.4% (2015 est.)
    cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool
    small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals
    -3% (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 183
    2.65 million (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 111
    agriculture: 48%
    industry: 12.5%
    services: 39.5% (2005 est.)
    8% (2013 est.)
    8% (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 91
    33.7% (2011 est.)
    lowest 10%: 2.8%
    highest 10%: 27.8% (2009 est.)
    33.4 (2007)
    29 (2001)
    country comparison to the world: 104
    revenues: $2.113 billion
    expenditures: $2.202 billion (2015 est.)
    29.5% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    -1.2% of GDP (2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 59
    calendar year
    6.5% (2015 est.)
    7.5% (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 189
    13.73% (22 December 2011)
    2.5% (31 December 2010)
    country comparison to the world: 15
    20.5% (31 December 2015 est.)
    16.87% (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 12
    $1.052 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.061 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 151
    $1.333 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.399 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 166
    $1.023 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.074 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 158
    $165 million (31 December 2012 est.)
    $165 million (31 December 2011)
    $79 million (31 December 2010 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 118
    -$979 million (2015 est.)
    -$1.245 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $1.933 billion (2015 est.)
    $1.892 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 140
    gold, cotton, wool, garments, meat; mercury, uranium, electricity; machinery; shoes
    Switzerland 26%, Uzbekistan 22.5%, Kazakhstan 20.8%, UAE 4.9%, Turkey 4.5%, Afghanistan 4.5%, Russia 4.2% (2015)
    $4.268 billion (2015 est.)
    $5.29 billion (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 131
    oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
    China 56.4%, Russia 17.1%, Kazakhstan 9.9% (2015)
    $1.916 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $1.957 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    $7.101 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    $6.804 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 117
    $3.857 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
    $3.537 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 102
    $444 million (31 December 2015 est.)
    $444 million (31 December 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    soms (KGS) per US dollar -
    60.58 (2015 est.)
    53.654 (2014 est.)
    53.654 (2013 est.)
    47.01 (2012 est.)
    46.144 (2011 est.)
  • Energy :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • 14.97 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    9.943 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 90
    1.84 billion kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 46
    177 million kWh (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 88
    3.766 million kW (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 84
    21.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 193
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 119
    78.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 16
    0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 186
    1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 92
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 145
    0 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 208
    40 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    1,666 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    33,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
    1,732 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 108
    38,070 bbl/day (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 87
    32 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 85
    406 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    0 cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 126
    374 million cu m (2013 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 66
    5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 93
    9.278 million Mt (2012 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 105
  • Communications :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • total subscriptions: 408,037
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 7 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 100
    total: 7.579 million
    subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 134 (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 101
    general assessment: telecommunications infrastructure is being upgraded; loans from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) are being used to install a digital network, digital radio-relay stations, and fiber-optic links
    domestic: fixed-line penetration remains low and concentrated in urban areas; multiple mobile-cellular service providers with growing coverage; mobile-cellular subscribership up to about 130 per 100 persons in 2015
    international: country code - 996; connections with other CIS countries by landline or microwave radio relay and with other countries by leased connections with Moscow international gateway switch and by satellite; satellite earth stations - 2 (1 Intersputnik, 1 Intelsat); connected internationally by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line (2015)
    state-run TV broadcaster operates 2 nationwide networks and 6 regional stations; roughly 20 private TV stations operating with most rebroadcasting other channels; state-run radio broadcaster operates 2 networks; about 20 private radio stations (2007)
    AM 3 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 23, shortwave 2 (2009)
    8 (2 countrywide and 6 regional stations; state-owned); note - there are about 20 private TV stations, most of which rebroadcast other channels (2007)
    .kg
    115,573 (2012)
    country comparison to the world: 81
    total: 1.713 million
    percent of population: 30.2% (July 2015 est.)
    country comparison to the world: 113
  • Transportation :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • 28 (2013)
    country comparison to the world: 122
    total: 18
    over 3,047 m: 1
    2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 11
    under 914 m: 3 (2013)
    total: 10
    1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
    914 to 1,523 m: 1
    under 914 m: 8 (2013)
    gas 480 km; oil 16 km (2013)
    total: 470 km
    broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)
    country comparison to the world: 116
    total: 34,000 km (2007)
    country comparison to the world: 94
    600 km (2010)
    country comparison to the world: 78
    lake port(s): Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)(Lake Ysyk-Kol)
  • Military and Security :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • State Committee on Defense Affairs (GKDO): Ground Forces, Air Force (includes Air Defense Forces) (2015)
    18-27 years of age for compulsory or voluntary male military service in the Armed Forces or Interior Ministry; 1-year service obligation, with optional fee-based 3-year service in the callup mobilization reserve; women may volunteer at age 19; 16-17 years of age for military cadets, who cannot take part in military operations (2013)
    NA% (2012)
    3.74% of GDP (2011)
  • Transnational Issues :: KYRGYZSTAN

  • Kyrgyzstan has yet to ratify the 2001 boundary delimitation with Kazakhstan; disputes in Isfara Valley delay completion of delimitation with Tajikistan; delimitation of 130 km of border with Uzbekistan is hampered by serious disputes over enclaves and other areas
    stateless persons: 9,118 (2015); note - most stateless people were born in Kyrgyzstan, have lived there many years, or married Kyrgyz citizens; in 2009, Kyrgyzstan adopted a national action plan to speed up the exchange of old Soviet passports for Kyrgyz ones; stateless people are unable to register marriages and births, to travel within the country or abroad, to own property, or to receive social benefits
    limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy for CIS markets; limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe; major consumer of opiates