chapter  3
16 Pages

Fostering relations in Kazakhstan

WithEdward Wainwright

Kazakhstan gained its independence from the USSR in 1991. Following ten years of political and economic turmoil, the country experienced a period of dramatic growth. Political stability brought economic development, and a middle class established itself following the emergence of oligarchs and oil barons. The initial free-market rush has now calmed and the nation claims that its fi nancial model is derived from that of Norway, with vast reserves of oil and mineral deposits to secure its economic future. It is also a large country: its total area, at 2.7 million sq km, is approximately the size of Western Europe; and its population in 2008 was 15 million.1