Kyrgyzstan

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A Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions, most of Kyrgyzstan was formally annexed to Russia 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, weak border security, and terrorism.

Geography

Location

Central Asia, west of China, south of Kazakhstan

Geographic coordinates

41.00° N, 75.00° E

Area 87/257

total: 199,951 sq km

land: 191,801 sq km

water: 8,150 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than South Dakota

Land boundaries

total: 4,573 km

border countries (4): China 1,063 km, Kazakhstan 1,212 km, Tajikistan 984 km, Uzbekistan 1,314 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

dry continental to polar in high Tien Shan Mountains; subtropical in southwest (Fergana Valley); temperate in northern foothill zone

Terrain

peaks of the Tien Shan mountain range and associated valleys and basins encompass the entire country

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Kara-Daryya (Karadar'ya) 132 m

highest point: Jengish Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m

Natural resources

abundant hydropower; gold, rare earth metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits of nepheline, mercury, bismuth, lead, and zinc

Land use

agricultural land: 55.4%

arable land 6.7%; permanent crops 0.4%; permanent pasture 48.3%

forest: 5.1%

other: 39.5% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

10,233 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

23.62 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 8.01 cu km/yr (3%/4%/93%)

per capita: 1,558 cu m/yr (2006)

Natural hazards

NA

Environment - current issues

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

Environment - international agreements

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

Geography - note

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

Nationality

noun: Kyrgyzstani(s)

adjective: Kyrgyzstani

Ethnic groups

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.)

Languages

Kyrgyz (official) 71.4%, Uzbek 14.4%, Russian (official) 9%, other 5.2% (2009 est.)

Religions

Muslim 75%, Russian Orthodox 20%, other 5%

Population 115/238

5,664,939 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

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.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 55.3%

youth dependency ratio: 48.8%

elderly dependency ratio: 6.6%

potential support ratio: 15.2% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 26 years

male: 25 years

female: 27 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 109/233

1.11% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 68/224

22.98 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 142/225

6.65 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 194/222

-5.22 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 35.7% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 1.58% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

BISHKEK (capital) 865,000 (2015)

Sex ratio

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.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

22.6

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2012 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 86/184

76 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 67/224

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.)

Life expectancy at birth 155/224

total population: 70.36 years

male: 66.19 years

female: 74.8 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 73/224

2.66 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

36.3% (2012)

Health expenditures 77/191

6.7% of GDP (2013)

Physicians density

1.97 physicians/1,000 population (2013)

Hospital bed density

4.8 beds/1,000 population (2012)

Drinking water source

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.)

Sanitation facility access

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.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.26% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

9,300 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

400 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 118/191

13.3% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 101/138

2.8% (2014)

Education expenditures 25/173

6.8% of GDP (2011)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 13 years

male: 12 years

female: 13 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24 80/134

total: 13.4%

male: 12%

female: 15.8% (2013 est.)

Government

Country name

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

Government type

republic

Capital

name: Bishkek

geographic coordinates: 42.52° N, 74.36° E

time difference: UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

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)

Independence

31 August 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National holiday

Independence Day, 31 August (1991)

Constitution

previous 1993; latest adopted 27 June 2010, effective 2 July 2010 (2015); note - the current constitution does not allow for any change until 2020

Legal system

civil law system which includes features of French civil law and Russian Federation laws

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

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

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Almazbek ATAMBAEV (since 1 December 2011)

head of government: Prime Minister Temir SARIYEV (since 1 May 2015); ); First Deputy Prime Minister Aaly KARASHEV (since 5 November 2015); Deputy Prime Ministers Oleg PANKRATOV (since 5 November 2015), Gulmira KUDAYBERDIYEVA (since since 5 November 2015)

cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers proposed by the prime minister, appointed by the president; defense and security ministers 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%; Temir SARIYEV elected prime minister; Supreme Council vote - 97 to 2

Legislative branch

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-Zhurt 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-Zhurt 28, Kyrgyzstan Party 18, Onuguu-Progress 13, Bir Bol 12, Ata-Meken 11

Judicial branch

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

Political parties and leaders

Ar-Namys (Dignity) Party [Felix KULOV]

Ata-Jurt-Respublika [Omurbek BABANOV, Kamchybek TASHIEV]

Ata-Meken (Fatherland) [Omurbek TEKEBAEV]

Bir Bol [Altynbek SULAIMANOV]

Kyrgyzstan Party [Kanatbek ISAEV, Kanybek IMANALIEV]

Onuguu-Progress

Social-Democratic Party of Kyrgyzstan or SDPK [Almazbek ATAMBAEV]

Political pressure groups and leaders

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]

International organization participation

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

Flag description

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

National symbol(s)

gyrfalcon; national colors: red, yellow

National anthem

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

Economy - overview

Kyrgyzstan is a poor, mountainous country with an economy dominated by minerals extraction, agriculture, and reliance on remittances from citizens working abroad. Cotton, tobacco, wool, and meat are the main agricultural products, although only tobacco and cotton are 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 Kyrgyzstani migrant workers in Russia and Kazakhstan are equivalent to around 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 1990’s and has again faced slow growth in recent years as the global financial crisis and declining oil prices have damaged economies across Central Asia.

Kyrgyzstani 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.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 145/230

$19.81 billion (2015 est.)

$19.42 billion (2014 est.)

$18.74 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$7.158 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 145/225

2% (2015 est.)

3.6% (2014 est.)

10.5% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 183/230

$3,400 (2015 est.)

$3,300 (2014 est.)

$3,200 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 146/179

10.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

10.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

11.1% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

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.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 18%

industry: 25.5%

services: 56.4% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

tobacco, cotton, potatoes, vegetables, grapes, fruits and berries; sheep, goats, cattle, wool

Industries

small machinery, textiles, food processing, cement, shoes, sawn logs, refrigerators, furniture, electric motors, gold, rare earth metals

Industrial production growth rate 182/202

-3% (2015 est.)

Labor force 111/233

2.65 million (2015 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 48%

industry: 12.5%

services: 39.5% (2005 est.)

Unemployment rate 93/207

8% (2013 est.)

8% (2013 est.)

Population below poverty line

33.7% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 2.8%

highest 10%: 27.8% (2009 est.)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 102/144

33.4 (2007)

29 (2001)

Budget

revenues: $2.113 billion

expenditures: $2.202 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 86/219

29.5% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 57/220

-1.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Fiscal year

calendar year

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 198/226

8.1% (2015 est.)

7.5% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 13/156

13.73% (22 December 2011)

2.5% (31 December 2010)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 12/184

20.5% (31 December 2015 est.)

16.87% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 151/192

$1.052 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.061 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 166/193

$1.333 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.399 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 158/191

$1.023 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.074 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 118/121

$165 million (31 December 2012 est.)

$165 million (31 December 2011)

$79 million (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 127/197

-$1.27 billion (2015 est.)

-$1.245 billion (2014 est.)

Exports 140/224

$1.933 billion (2015 est.)

$1.892 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

gold, cotton, wool, garments, meat, tobacco; mercury, uranium, electricity; machinery; shoes

Exports - partners

Uzbekistan 29.3%, Kazakhstan 28.5%, UAE 6.6%, Russia 5.9%, Afghanistan 5.8%, Turkey 5.3% (2014)

Imports 129/223

$4.268 billion (2015 est.)

$5.29 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

oil and gas, machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports - partners

China 54.4%, Russia 18.1%, Kazakhstan 7.8%, Turkey 4.4% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 119/170

$1.916 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$1.957 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Debt - external 117/206

$7.101 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.804 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 102/120

$3.857 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.537 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad 88/105

$444 million (31 December 2015 est.)

$444 million (31 December 2014 est.)

Exchange rates

soms (KGS) per US dollar -

60.58 (2015 est.)

53.65 (2014 est.)

53.65 (2013 est.)

47.01 (2012 est.)

46.14 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 84/220

14.97 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 90/219

9.943 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 46/218

1.84 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 88/219

177 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 84/214

3.766 million kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 192/214

21.1% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 119/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 16/214

78.9% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 186/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 92/214

1,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 145/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 208/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 81/215

40 million bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 108/214

1,666 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 113/212

33,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 108/214

1,732 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 87/213

38,070 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 85/216

32 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 100/215

406 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 126/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 67/214

374 million cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 94/212

5.663 billion cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 104/212

9.278 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 100/219

total subscriptions: 440,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 8 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 101/217

total: 7.6 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 135 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

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 was about 115 per 100 persons in 2011

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 (2011)

Broadcast media

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)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 3 (plus 10 repeater stations), FM 23, shortwave 2 (2009)

Television broadcast stations

8 (2 countrywide and 6 regional stations; state-owned); note - there are about 20 private TV stations, most of which rebroadcast other channels (2007)

Internet country code

.kg

Internet hosts 81/232

115,573 (2012)

Internet users 113/217

total: 1.4 million

percent of population: 24.2% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 122/236

28 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

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)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 10

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 1

under 914 m: 8 (2013)

Pipelines

gas 480 km; oil 16 km (2013)

Railways 113/136

total: 470 km

broad gauge: 470 km 1.520-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 94/223

total: 34,000 km (2007)

Waterways 78/107

600 km (2010)

Ports and terminals

lake port(s): Balykchy (Ysyk-Kol or Rybach'ye)(Lake Ysyk-Kol)

Military and Security

Military branches

State Committee on Defense Affairs (GKDO): Ground Forces, Air Force (includes Air Defense Forces) (2015)

Military service age and obligation

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)

Military expenditures

NA% (2012)

3.74% of GDP (2011)

NA% (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

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

Refugees and internally displaced persons

stateless persons: 12,133 (2014); 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

Illicit drugs

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