The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the following decade of transition to a market economy were challenging times for Kazakhstan as well as for the other former Soviet countries. Located in Central Asia, Kazakhstan with an area of 2.72m sq. km, is considered the ninth-largest country in the world (see www.un.kz). Kazakhstan is known for its rich natural resources, especially oil and gas, which play a crucial role in the country’s economic development.
|Irina A. Grebneva|