Introduction

Background
Azerbaijan – a nation with a Turkic and majority-Muslim population – was briefly independent from 1918 to 1920; it regained its independence after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Despite a 1994 cease-fire, Azerbaijan has yet to resolve its conflict with Armenia over the Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh enclave (largely Armenian populated). Azerbaijan has lost 16% of its territory and must support some 528,000 internally displaced persons as a result of the conflict. Corruption is ubiquitous, and the promise of widespread wealth from Azerbaijan’s undeveloped petroleum resources remains largely unfulfilled.
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Russia, with a small European portion north of the Caucasus range

Geographic Coordinates
40 30 N, 47 30 E

Area
total: 86,600 sq km; land: 86,100 sq km; ; water: 500 sq km; note: includes the exclave of Naxcivan Autonomous Republic and the Nagorno-Karabakh region; the region’s autonomy was abolished by Azerbaijani Supreme Soviet on 26 November 1991

Area Comparative
slightly smaller than Maine

Land Boundaries
total: 2,013 km; border countries: Armenia (with Azerbaijan-proper) 566 km, Armenia (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 221 km, Georgia 322 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-proper) 432 km, Iran (with Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave) 179 km, Russia 284 km, Turkey 9 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked); note – Azerbaijan borders the Caspian Sea (800 km est.)

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
dry, semiarid steppe

Terrain
large, flat Kur-Araz Ovaligi (Kura-Araks Lowland) (much of it below sea level) with Great Caucasus Mountains to the north, Qarabag Yaylasi (Karabakh Upland) in west; Baku lies on Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) that juts into Caspian Sea

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m; highest point: Bazarduzu Dagi 4,485 m

Natural Resources
petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, nonferrous metals, alumina

Land Use
arable land: 20.62%; permanent crops: 2.61%; other: 76.77% (2005)

Irrigated Land
14,550 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
droughts

Environment – Current Issues
local scientists consider the Abseron Yasaqligi (Apsheron Peninsula) (including Baku and Sumqayit) and the Caspian Sea to be the ecologically most devastated area in the world because of severe air, soil, and water pollution; soil pollution results from oil spills, from the use of DDT as a pesticide, and from toxic defoliants used in the production of cotton

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Notes
both the main area of the country and the Naxcivan exclave are landlocked

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People

Population
7,961,619 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 25.8% (male 1,046,501/female 1,011,492); 15-64 years: 66.3% (male 2,573,134/female 2,706,275); 65 years and over: 7.8% (male 246,556/female 377,661) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 27.7 years; male: 26.3 years; female: 29.2 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
0.66% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
20.74 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
9.75 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-4.38 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.65 male(s)/female; total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 79 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 81.08 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 76.81 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 63.85 years; male: 59.78 years; female: 68.13 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
2.46 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
1,400 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 100 (2001 est.)

Nationality
noun: Azerbaijani(s), Azeri(s); adjective: Azerbaijani, Azeri

Ethnic Groups
Azeri 90.6%, Dagestani 2.2%, Russian 1.8%, Armenian 1.5%, other 3.9% (1999 census); note: almost all Armenians live in the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region

Religions
Muslim 93.4%, Russian Orthodox 2.5%, Armenian Orthodox 2.3%, other 1.8% (1995 est.); note: religious affiliation is still nominal in Azerbaijan; percentages for actual practicing adherents are much lower

Languages
Azerbaijani (Azeri) 89%, Russian 3%, Armenian 2%, other 6% (1995 est.)

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.8%; male: 99.5%; female: 98.2% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan; conventional short form: Azerbaijan; local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi; local short form: none; former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic

Capital
Baku (Baki)

Administrative Divisions
59 rayons (rayonlar; rayon – singular), 11 cities* (saharlar; sahar – singular), 1 autonomous republic** (muxtar respublika); : rayons: Abseron Rayonu, Agcabadi Rayonu, Agdam Rayonu, Agdas Rayonu, Agstafa Rayonu, Agsu Rayonu, Astara Rayonu, Balakan Rayonu, Barda Rayonu, Beylaqan Rayonu, Bilasuvar Rayonu, Cabrayil Rayonu, Calilabad Rayonu, Daskasan Rayonu, Davaci Rayonu, Fuzuli Rayonu, Gadabay Rayonu, Goranboy Rayonu, Goycay Rayonu, Haciqabul Rayonu, Imisli Rayonu, Ismayilli Rayonu, Kalbacar Rayonu, Kurdamir Rayonu, Lacin Rayonu, Lankaran Rayonu, Lerik Rayonu, Masalli Rayonu, Neftcala Rayonu, Oguz Rayonu, Qabala Rayonu, Qax Rayonu, Qazax Rayonu, Qobustan Rayonu, Quba Rayonu, Qubadli Rayonu, Qusar Rayonu, Saatli Rayonu, Sabirabad Rayonu, Saki Rayonu, Salyan Rayonu, Samaxi Rayonu, Samkir Rayonu, Samux Rayonu, Siyazan Rayonu, Susa Rayonu, Tartar Rayonu, Tovuz Rayonu, Ucar Rayonu, Xacmaz Rayonu, Xanlar Rayonu, Xizi Rayonu, Xocali Rayonu, Xocavand Rayonu, Yardimli Rayonu, Yevlax Rayonu, Zangilan Rayonu, Zaqatala Rayonu, Zardab Rayonu; : cities: Ali Bayramli Sahari, Baki Sahari, Ganca Sahari, Lankaran Sahari, Mingacevir Sahari, Naftalan Sahari, Saki Sahari, Sumqayit Sahari, Susa Sahari, Xankandi Sahari, Yevlax Sahari; : autonomous republic: Naxcivan Muxtar Respublikasi

Independence
30 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Founding of the Democratic Republic of Azerbaijan, 28 May (1918)

Constitution
adopted 12 November 1995

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Ilham ALIYEV (since 31 October 2003); head of government: Prime Minister Artur RASIZADE (since 4 November 2003); First Deputy Prime Minister Abbas ABBASOV (since 10 November 2003); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly; elections: president elected by popular vote to a five-year term; election last held 15 October 2003 (next to be held October 2008); prime minister and first deputy prime ministers appointed by the president and confirmed by the National Assembly; election results: Ilham ALIYEV elected president; percent of vote – Ilham ALIYEV 76.8%, Isa GAMBAR 14%

Legislative Branch
unicameral National Assembly or Milli Mejlis (125 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); elections: last held 6 November 2005 (next to be held in November 2010); election results: percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – NAP 58, Azadliq coalition 8, CSP 2, YES 2, Motherland 2, other parties with single seats 7, independents 42, undetermined 4

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court

Political Parties and Leaders
Azerbaijan Popular Front or APF [Ali KARIMLI, leader of “Reform” faction; Mirmahmud MIRALI-OGLU, leader of “Classic” faction]; Civic Solidarity Party or CSP [Sabir RUSTAMKHANLY]; Civic Union Party [Ayaz MUTALIBOV]; Communist Party of Azerbaijan or CPA [Ramiz AHMADOV]; Compatriot Party [Mais SAFARLI]; Democratic Party for Azerbaijan or DPA [Rasul QULIYEV, chairman]; Justice Party [Ilyas ISMAILOV]; Liberal Party of Azerbaijan [Lala Shovkat HACIYEVA]; Motherland Party [leader NA]; Musavat [Isa GAMBAR, chairman]; New Azerbaijan Party or NAP [vacant]; Party for National Independence of Azerbaijan or PNIA [Etibar MAMMADLI, chairman]; Social Democratic Party of Azerbaijan or SDP [Araz ALIZADE and Ayaz MUTALIBOV]; note: opposition parties regularly factionalize and form new parties

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Sadval, Lezgin movement; self-proclaimed Armenian Nagorno-Karabakh Republic; Talysh independence movement; Union of Pro-Azerbaijani Forces (UPAF)

International Organization Participation
AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Hafiz PASHAYEV; chancery: 2741 34th Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 337-3500; FAX: [1] (202) 337-5911

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Reno L. HARNISH III; embassy: 83 Azadlyg Prospecti, Baku AZ1007; mailing address: American Embassy Baku, Department of State, 7050 Baku Place, Washington, DC 20521-7050; telephone: [994] (12) 4980-335 through 337; FAX: [994] (12) 4983-755

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of blue (top), red, and green; a crescent and eight-pointed star in white are centered in red band

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Economy

Overview
Azerbaijan’s number one export is oil. Azerbaijan’s oil production declined through 1997 but has registered an increase every year since. Negotiation of production-sharing arrangements (PSAs) with foreign firms, which have thus far committed $60 billion to long-term oilfield development, should generate the funds needed to spur future industrial development. Oil production under the first of these PSAs, with the Azerbaijan International Operating Company, began in November 1997. A consortium of Western oil companies is scheduled to begin pumping 1 million barrels a day from a large offshore field in early 2006, through a $4 billion pipeline it built from Baku to Turkey’s Mediterranean port of Ceyhan. Economists estimate that by 2010 revenues from this project will double the country’s current GDP. Azerbaijan shares all the formidable problems of the former Soviet republics in making the transition from a command to a market economy, but its considerable energy resources brighten its long-term prospects. Baku has only recently begun making progress on economic reform, and old economic ties and structures are slowly being replaced. Several other obstacles impede Azerbaijan’s economic progress: the need for stepped up foreign investment in the non-energy sector, the continuing conflict with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and the pervasive corruption. Trade with Russia and the other former Soviet republics is declining in importance while trade is building with Turkey and the nations of Europe. Long-term prospects will depend on world oil prices, the location of new pipelines in the region, and Azerbaijan’s ability to manage its oil wealth.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$37.03 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$10.67 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
19.7% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$4,700 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 14.1%; industry: 45.7%; services: 40.2% (2002 est.)

Labor Force
5.45 million (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture and forestry 41%, industry 7%, services 52% (2001)

Unemployment Rate
1.2% official rate (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
49% (2002 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 2.8%; highest 10%: 27.8% (1995)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
36.5 (2001)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
12% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
57.4% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $3.18 billion; expenditures: $2.986 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
13.9% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
cotton, grain, rice, grapes, fruit, vegetables, tea, tobacco; cattle, pigs, sheep, goats

Industries
petroleum and natural gas, petroleum products, oilfield equipment; steel, iron ore; cement; chemicals and petrochemicals; textiles

Industrial Production Growth Rate
25% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
20 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
20.25 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
700 million kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
2.35 billion kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
477,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
123,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
589 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural Gas – Production
5.13 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
9.2 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
1 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
849.5 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current Account Balance
$-1.53 billion (2005 est.)

Exports
$6.117 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
oil and gas 90%, machinery, cotton, foodstuffs

Exports – Partners
Italy 26.6%, Czech Republic 11.9%, Germany 8.1%, Indonesia 6.4%, Romania 6.2%, Georgia 6%, Russia 5.3%, Turkey 5.2%, France 4.1% (2004)

Imports
$4.656 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery and equipment, oil products, foodstuffs, metals, chemicals

Imports – Partners
Russia 16.1%, UK 12.5%, Turkey 10.5%, Germany 7.8%, Ukraine 5.6%, Netherlands 4.9%, US 4.1%, Italy 4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exhange and Gold
$1.2 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$2.253 billion (2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
ODA, $140 million (2000 est.)

Currency (Code)
Azerbaijani manat (AZM)

Exchange Rates
Azerbaijani manats per US dollar – 4,727.1 (2005), 4,913.48 (2004), 4,910.73 (2003), 4,860.82 (2002), 4,656.58 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
1,025,400 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
1,456,500 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: inadequate; requires considerable expansion and modernization; teledensity of 10 main lines per 100 persons is low (2002); domestic: the majority of telephones are in Baku and other industrial centers – about 700 villages still without public telephone service; satellite service connects Baku to a modern switch in its exclave of Naxcivan; international: country code – 994; the old Soviet system of cable and microwave is still serviceable; satellite earth stations – 2 (2005)

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 10, FM 17, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
2 (1997)

Internet Country Code
.az

Internet Hosts
460 (2005)

Internet Users
408,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
45 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 27; over 3,047 m: 2; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 15; 914 to 1,523 m: 3; under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 18; 914 to 1,523 m: 3; under 914 m: 15 (2005)

Heliports
2 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 4,451 km; oil 1,518 km (2004)

Railways
total: 2,957 km; broad gauge: 2,957 km 1.520-m gauge (1,278 km electrified) (2004)

Waterways
total: 27,016 km; paved: 12,698 km (including 128 km of expressways); unpaved: 14,318 km (2003)

Merchant Marine
total: 84 ships (1000 GRT or over) 405,395 GRT/437,088 DWT; by type: cargo 26, passenger 2, passenger/cargo 8, petroleum tanker 43, roll on/roll off 2, specialized tanker 3; registered in other countries: 4 (Georgia 2, Malta 2) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Baku (Baki)

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Military

Military Branches
Army, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory and voluntary military service; law passed December 2001 raises maximum conscription age from 28 to 35 (December 2001)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,961,973 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,314,955 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 82,358 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$121 million (FY99)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
2.6% (FY99)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia ratify Caspian seabed delimitation treaties based on equidistance, while Iran continues to insist on an even one-fifth allocation and challenges Azerbaijan’s hydrocarbon exploration in disputed waters; bilateral talks continue with Turkmenistan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 8,367 (Russia); IDPs: 528,000 (conflict with Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
limited illicit cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for CIS consumption; small government eradication program; transit point for Southwest Asian opiates bound for Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

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Introduction

Background
Annexed by Russia between 1865 and 1885, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic in 1924. It achieved its independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. President Saparmurat NIYAZOV retains absolute control over the country and opposition is not tolerated. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves could prove a boon to this underdeveloped country if extraction and delivery projects were to be expanded. The Turkmenistan Government is actively seeking to develop alternative petroleum transportation routes in order to break Russia’s pipeline monopoly.

» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan

Geographic Coordinates
40 00 N, 60 00 E

Area
total: 488,100 sq km; land: 488,100 sq km; water: NEGL

Area Comparative
slightly larger than California

Land Boundaries
total: 3,736 km; border countries: Afghanistan 744 km, Iran 992 km, Kazakhstan 379 km, Uzbekistan 1,621 km

Coastline
0 km; note – Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
subtropical desert

Terrain
flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m; note – Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya (the lake has dropped as low as -110 m); note: Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya (the lake has dropped as low as -110 m); highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m

Natural Resources
petroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt

Land Use
arable land: 4.51%; permanent crops: 0.14%; other: 95.35% (2005)

Irrigated Land
17,500 sq km (2003 est.)

Natural Hazards
NA

Environment – Current Issues
contamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water-logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river’s inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection; signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Notes
landlocked; the western and central low-lying, desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau

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People

Population
5,042,920 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 35.2% (male 913,988/female 863,503); 15-64 years: 60.7% (male 1,501,486/female 1,557,155); 65 years and over: 4.1% (male 79,227/female 127,561) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 21.8 years; male: 20.9 years; female: 22.7 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.83% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
27.61 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
8.6 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-0.75 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.06 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.62 male(s)/female; total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 72.56 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 76.9 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 68 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 61.83 years; male: 58.43 years; female: 65.41 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
3.37 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2004 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
less than 200 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 100 (2004 est.)

Nationality
noun: Turkmen(s); adjective: Turkmen

Ethnic Groups
Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)

Religions
Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%

Languages
Turkmen 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.8%; male: 99.3%; female: 98.3% (1999 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: none; conventional short form: Turkmenistan; local long form: none; local short form: Turkmenistan; former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch

Capital
Ashgabat

Administrative Divisions
5 provinces (welayatlar, singular – welayat): Ahal Welayaty (Ashgabat), Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty; note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Independence
27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Independence Day, 27 October (1991)

Constitution
adopted 18 May 1992

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Saparmurat NIYAZOV (since 27 October 1990, when the first direct presidential election occurred); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government; head of government: President and Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Saparmurat NIYAZOV (since 27 October 1990, when the first direct presidential election occurred); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government; cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president; note: NIYAZOV’s term in office was extended indefinitely on 28 December 1999 during a session of the People’s Council (Halk Maslahaty); in November 2005 the People’s Council voted down NIYAZOV’s suggestion to hold presidential elections in 2009; elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 21 June 1992; note – President NIYAZOV was unanimously approved as president for life by the People’s Council on 28 December 1999; deputy chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers are appointed by the president; election results: Saparmurat NIYAZOV elected president without opposition; percent of vote – Saparmurat NIYAZOV 99.5%

Legislative Branch
under the 1992 constitution, there are two parliamentary bodies, a unicameral People’s Council or Halk Maslahaty (supreme legislative body of up to 2,500 delegates, some of whom are elected by popular vote and some of whom are appointed; meets at least yearly) and a unicameral Parliament or Mejlis (50 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); membership is scheduled to be increased to 65 seats; elections: People’s Council – last held in April 2003 (next to be held December 2008); Mejlis – last held 19 December 2004 (next to be held December 2008); election results: Mejlis – DPT 100%; seats by party – DPT 50; note – all 50 elected officials are members of the Democratic Party of Turkmenistan and are preapproved by President NIYAZOV; note: in late 2003, a new law was adopted, reducing the powers of the Mejlis and making the Halk Maslahaty the supreme legislative organ; the Halk Maslahaty can now legally dissolve the Mejlis, and the president is now able to participate in the Mejlis as its supreme leader; the Mejlis can no longer adopt or amend the constitution, or announce referendums or its elections; since the president is both the “Chairman for Life” of the Halk Maslahaty and the supreme leader of the Mejlis, the 2003 law has the effect of making him the sole authority of both the executive and legislative branches of government

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)

Political Parties and Leaders
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Saparmurat NIYAZOV]; note: formal opposition parties are outlawed; unofficial, small opposition movements exist underground or in foreign countries; the two most prominent opposition groups-in-exile have been National Democratic Movement of Turkmenistan (NDMT) and the United Democratic Party of Turkmenistan (UDPT); NDMT was led by former Foreign Minister Boris SHIKHMURADOV until his arrest and imprisonment in the wake of the 25 November 2002 assassination attempt on President NIYAZOV; UDPT is led by former Foreign Minister Abdy KULIEV and is based out of Moscow

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
NA

International Organization Participation
AsDB, CIS (associate), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Meret Bairamovich ORAZOV; chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500; FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Tracey A. JACOBSON; embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 774000; mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, D.C. 20521-7070; telephone: [9] (9312) 35-00-45; FAX: [9] (9312) 39-26-14

Flag Description
green field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches similar to the olive branches on the UN flag; a white crescent moon representing Islam with five white stars representing the regions or velayats of Turkmenistan appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe

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Economy

Overview
Turkmenistan is a largely desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and large gas and oil resources. One-half of its irrigated land is planted in cotton; formerly it was the world’s tenth-largest producer. Poor harvests in recent years have led to an almost 50% decline in cotton exports. With an authoritarian ex-Communist regime in power and a tribally based social structure, Turkmenistan has taken a cautious approach to economic reform, hoping to use gas and cotton sales to sustain its inefficient economy. Privatization goals remain limited. In 1998-2005, Turkmenistan suffered from the continued lack of adequate export routes for natural gas and from obligations on extensive short-term external debt. At the same time, however, total exports rose by 20% to 30% per year in 2003-2005, largely because of higher international oil and gas prices. In 2005, Ashgabat sought to raise natural gas export prices to its main customers, Russia and Ukraine, from $44 per thousand cubic meters (tcm) to $66 per tcm. Overall prospects in the near future are discouraging because of widespread internal poverty, the burden of foreign debt, the government’s irrational use of oil and gas revenues, and its unwillingness to adopt market-oriented reforms. Turkmenistan’s economic statistics are state secrets, and GDP and other figures are subject to wide margins of error. In particular, the rate of GDP growth is uncertain.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$30.02 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$14.13 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
IMF estimate: 11%; note: official government statistics show 21.4% growth, but these estimates are widely regarded as unreliable (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$6,100 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 26.9%; industry: 39.5%; services: 33.6% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
2.32 million (2003 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 48.2%, industry 13.8%, services 37% (2003 est.)

Unemployment Rate
60% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
58% (2003 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 2.6%; highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
40.8 (1998)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
10% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
25.6% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $1.401 billion; expenditures: $1.542 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
cotton, grain; livestock

Industries
natural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing

Industrial Production Growth Rate
22% (2003 est.)

Electricity – Production
11.41 billion kWh (2004 est.)

Electricity – Consumption
8.847 billion kWh (2002)

Electricity – Exports
1.136 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity – Imports
0 kWh (2002)

Oil – Production
203,400 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Consumption
80,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
273 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural Gas – Production
54.6 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
15.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
38.6 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
2.01 trillion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current Account Balance
$-204.3 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$4.7 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, cotton fiber, textiles

Exports – Partners
Ukraine 46.6%, Iran 17.3%, Turkey 4.2%, Italy 4.1% (2004)

Imports
$4.175 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs

Imports – Partners
US 11.8%, Russia 9.7%, UAE 9.2%, Ukraine 9%, Turkey 8.6%, Germany 8%, France 5%, Georgia 4.6%, Iran 4.5% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$3.358 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$2.4 billion to $5 billion (2001 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$16 million from the US (2001)

Currency (Code)
Turkmen manat (TMM)

Exchange Rates
in recent years the unofficial rate has hovered around 24,000 to 25,000 Turkmen manats to the dollar; the official rate has consistently been 5,200 manat to the dollar

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
376,100 (2003)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
52,000 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: poorly developed; domestic: NA; international: country code – 993; linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; a new telephone link from Ashgabat to Iran has been established; a new exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations – 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 16, FM 8, shortwave 2 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
4 (government owned and programmed) (2004)

Internet Country Code
.tm

Internet Hosts
557 (2005)

Internet Users
36,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
39 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 22; over 3,047 m: 1; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 10; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 9; 914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 17; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; 914 to 1,523 m: 1; under 914 m: 14 (2005)

Heliports
1 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 6,549 km; oil 1,395 km (2004)

Railways
total: 2,440 km; broad gauge: 2,440 km 1.520-m gauge (2004)

Roadways
total: 24,000 km; paved: 19,488 km; unpaved: 4,512 km (1999)

Waterways
1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal important inland waterways) (2006)

Merchant Marine
total: 8 ships (1000 GRT or over) 22,870 GRT/25,801 DWT; by type: barge carrier 1, cargo 4, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1 (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Turkmenbasy

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Military

Military Branches
Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces (2004)

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation – two years (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,132,833 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 759,978 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 56,532 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$90 million (FY99)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
3.4% (FY99)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
cotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian; demarcation of land boundary with Kazakhstan has started but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 12,085 (Tajikistan) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan

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Introduction

Background
Modern Turkey was founded in 1923 from the Anatolian remnants of the defeated Ottoman Empire by national hero Mustafa KEMAL, who was later honored with the title Ataturk, or “Father of the Turks.” Under his authoritarian leadership, the country adopted wide-ranging social, legal, and political reforms. After a period of one-party rule, an experiment with multi-party politics led to the 1950 election victory of the opposition Democratic Party and the peaceful transfer of power. Since then, Turkish political parties have multiplied, but democracy has been fractured by periods of instability and intermittent military coups (1960, 1971, 1980), which in each case eventually resulted in a return of political power to civilians. In 1997, the military again helped engineer the ouster – popularly dubbed a “post-modern coup” – of the then Islamic-oriented government. Turkey intervened militarily on Cyprus in 1974 to prevent a Greek takeover of the island and has since acted as patron state to the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” which only Turkey recognizes. A separatist insurgency begun in 1984 by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) – now known as the People’s Congress of Kurdistan or Kongra-Gel (KGK) – has dominated the Turkish military’s attention and claimed more than 30,000 lives. After the capture of the group’s leader in 1999, the insurgents largely withdrew from Turkey, mainly to northern Iraq. In 2004, KGK announced an end to its ceasefire and attacks attributed to the KGK increased. Turkey joined the UN in 1945 and in 1952 it became a member of NATO. In 1964, Turkey became an associate member of the European Community; over the past decade, it has undertaken many reforms to strengthen its democracy and economy, enabling it to begin accession membership talks with the European Union.
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Geography

Location
Southeastern Europe and Southwestern Asia (that portion of Turkey west of the Bosporus is geographically part of Europe), bordering the Black Sea, between Bulgaria and Georgia, and bordering the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Syria

Geographic Coordinates
39 00 N, 35 00 E

Area
total: 780,580 sq km; land: 770,760 sq km; water: 9,820 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly larger than Texas

Land Boundaries
total: 2,648 km; border countries: Armenia 268 km, Azerbaijan 9 km, Bulgaria 240 km, Georgia 252 km, Greece 206 km, Iran 499 km, Iraq 352 km, Syria 822 km

Coastline
7,200 km

Maritime Claims
territorial sea: 6 nm in the Aegean Sea; 12 nm in Black Sea and in Mediterranean Sea; exclusive economic zone: in Black Sea only: to the maritime boundary agreed upon with the former USSR

Climate
temperate; hot, dry summers with mild, wet winters; harsher in interior

Terrain
high central plateau (Anatolia); narrow coastal plain; several mountain ranges

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Mediterranean Sea 0 m; highest point: Mount Ararat 5,166 m

Natural Resources
coal, iron ore, copper, chromium, antimony, mercury, gold, barite, borate, celestite (strontium), emery, feldspar, limestone, magnesite, marble, perlite, pumice, pyrites (sulfur), clay, arable land, hydropower

Land Use
arable land: 29.81%; permanent crops: 3.39%; other: 66.8% (2005)

Irrigated Land
42,000 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
severe earthquakes, especially in northern Turkey, along an arc extending from the Sea of Marmara to Lake Van

Environment – Current Issues
water pollution from dumping of chemicals and detergents; air pollution, particularly in urban areas; deforestation; concern for oil spills from increasing Bosporus ship traffic

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification

Notes
strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas; Mount Ararat, the legendary landing place of Noah’s Ark, is in the far eastern portion of the country

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People

Population
70,413,958 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 25.5% (male 9,133,226/female 8,800,070); 15-64 years: 67.7% (male 24,218,277/female 23,456,761); 65 years and over: 6.8% (male 2,198,073/female 2,607,551) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 28.1 years; male: 27.9 years; female: 28.3 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.06% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
16.62 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
5.97 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.03 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.84 male(s)/female; total population: 1.02 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 39.69 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 43.27 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 35.93 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 72.62 years; male: 70.18 years; female: 75.18 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.92 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% – note – no country specific models provided (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
NA

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
NA

Nationality
noun: Turk(s); adjective: Turkish

Ethnic Groups
Turkish 80%, Kurdish 20% (estimated)

Religions
Muslim 99.8% (mostly Sunni), other 0.2% (mostly Christians and Jews)

Languages
Turkish (official), Kurdish, Dimli (or Zaza), Azeri, Kabardian; note: there is also a substantial Gagauz population in the Europe part of Turkey

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 86.5%; male: 94.3%; female: 78.7% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Turkey; conventional short form: Turkey; local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti; local short form: Turkiye

Government Type
republican parliamentary democracy

Capital
Ankara

Administrative Divisions
81 provinces (iller, singular – il); Adana, Adiyaman, Afyonkarahisar, Agri, Aksaray, Amasya, Ankara, Antalya, Ardahan, Artvin, Aydin, Balikesir, Bartin, Batman, Bayburt, Bilecik, Bingol, Bitlis, Bolu, Burdur, Bursa, Canakkale, Cankiri, Corum, Denizli, Diyarbakir, Duzce, Edirne, Elazig, Erzincan, Erzurum, Eskisehir, Gaziantep, Giresun, Gumushane, Hakkari, Hatay, Igdir, Isparta, Istanbul, Izmir, Kahramanmaras, Karabuk, Karaman, Kars, Kastamonu, Kayseri, Kilis, Kirikkale, Kirklareli, Kirsehir, Kocaeli, Konya, Kutahya, Malatya, Manisa, Mardin, Mersin, Mugla, Mus, Nevsehir, Nigde, Ordu, Osmaniye, Rize, Sakarya, Samsun, Sanliurfa, Siirt, Sinop, Sirnak, Sivas, Tekirdag, Tokat, Trabzon, Tunceli, Usak, Van, Yalova, Yozgat, Zonguldak

Independence
29 October 1923 (successor state to the Ottoman Empire)

National Holiday
Republic Day, 29 October (1923)

Constitution
7-Nov-82

Legal System
civil law system derived from various European continental legal systems; note – member of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), although Turkey claims limited derogations on the ratified European Convention on Human Rights

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Ahmet Necdet SEZER (since 16 May 2000); head of government: Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN (14 March 2003); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president on the nomination of the prime minister; elections: president elected by the National Assembly for a seven-year term; election last held 5 May 2000 (next to be held May 2007); prime minister appointed by the president from among members of parliament; election results: Ahmed Necdet SEZER elected president on the third ballot; percent of National Assembly vote – 60%; note: president must have a two-thirds majority of the National Assembly on the first two ballots and a simple majority on the third ballot

Legislative Branch
unicameral Grand National Assembly of Turkey or Turkiye Buyuk Millet Meclisi (550 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms); elections: last held 3 November 2002 (next to be held in 2007); note – a special rerun of the General Election in the province of Siirt on 9 March 2003 resulted in the election of Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN to a seat in parliament, a prerequisite for becoming prime minister, on 14 March 2003; election results: percent of vote by party – AKP 34.3%, CHP 19.4%, DYP 9.6%, MHP 8.3%, Anavatan 5.1%, DSP 1.1%, and other; seats by party – AKP 363, CHP 178, independents 9; note – parties surpassing the 10% threshold are entitled to parliamentary seats; seats by party as of 1 December 2005 – AKP 357, CHP 154, ANAVATAN 22, DYP 4, SHP 4, HYP 1, independents 4, vacant 4

Judicial Branch
Constitutional Court; High Court of Appeals (Yargitay); Council of State (Danistay); Court of Accounts (Sayistay); Military High Court of Appeals; Military High Administrative Court

Political Parties and Leaders
Anavatan Partisi (once was Motherland Party) or ANAVATAN [Erkan MUMCU]; Democratic Left Party or DSP [Mehmet Zeki SEZER]; Democratic People’s Party or DEHAP [Tuncer BAKIRHAN]; Felicity Party (sometimes translated as Contentment Party) or SP [Necmettin ERBAKAN]; Justice and Development Party or AKP [Recep Tayyip ERDOGAN]; Liberal Democratic Party or LDP [Emin SIRIN]; Nationalist Action Party or MHP [Devlet BAHCELI]; People’s Rise Party (Halkin Yukselisi Partisi) or HYP [Yasr Nuri OZTURK]; Republican People’s Party or CHP [Deniz BAYKAL]; Social Democratic People’s Party or SHP [Murat KARAYALCIN]; True Path Party (sometimes translated as Correct Way Party) or DYP [Mehmet AGAR]; note: the parties listed above are some of the more significant of the 49 parties that Turkey had on 1 December 2004

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Confederation of Public Sector Unions or KESK [Sami EVREN]; Confederation of Revolutionary Workers Unions or DISK [Suleyman CELEBI]; Independent Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association or MUSIAD [Omer BOLAT]; Moral Rights Workers Union or Hak-Is [Salim USLU]; Turkish Confederation of Employers’ Unions or TISK [Refik BAYDUR]; Turkish Confederation of Labor or Turk-Is [Salih KILIC]; Turkish Confederation of Tradesmen and Craftsmen or TESK [Dervis GUNDAY]; Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association or TUSIAD [Omer SABANCI]; Turkish Union of Chambers of Commerce and Commodity Exchanges or TOBB [M. Rifat HISARCIKLIOGLU]

International Organization Participation
AsDB, Australia Group, BIS, BSEC, CE, CERN (observer), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, EU (applicant), FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SECI, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMIS, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UPU, WCO, WEU (associate), WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO, ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Nabi SENSOY; chancery: 2525 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 612-6700; FAX: [1] (202) 612-6744; consulate(s) general: Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Ross WILSON; embassy: 110 Ataturk Boulevard, Kavaklidere, 06100 Ankara; mailing address: PSC 93, Box 5000, APO AE 09823; telephone: [90] (312) 455-5555; FAX: [90] (312) 467-0019; consulate(s) general: Istanbul; consulate(s): Adana; note – there is a Consular Agent in Izmir

Flag Description
red with a vertical white crescent (the closed portion is toward the hoist side) and white five-pointed star centered just outside the crescent opening

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Economy

Overview
Turkey’s dynamic economy is a complex mix of modern industry and commerce along with a traditional agriculture sector that still accounts for more than 35% of employment. It has a strong and rapidly growing private sector, yet the state still plays a major role in basic industry, banking, transport, and communication. The largest industrial sector is textiles and clothing, which accounts for one-third of industrial employment; it faces stiff competition in international markets with the end of the global quota system. However, other sectors, notably the automotive and electronics industries, are rising in importance within Turkey’s export mix. Real GNP growth has exceeded 6% in many years, but this strong expansion has been interrupted by sharp declines in output in 1994, 1999, and 2001. The economy is turning around with the implementation of economic reforms, and 2004 GDP growth reached 9%. Inflation fell to 7.7% in 2005 – a 30-year low. Despite the strong economic gains in 2002-05, which were largely due to renewed investor interest in emerging markets, IMF backing, and tighter fiscal policy, the economy is still burdened by a high current account deficit and high debt. The public sector fiscal deficit exceeds 6% of GDP – due in large part to high interest payments, which accounted for about 37% of central government spending in 2004. Prior to 2005, foreign direct investment (FDI) in Turkey averaged less than $1 billion annually, but further economic and judicial reforms and prospective EU membership are expected to boost FDI. Privatization sales are currently approaching $21 billion.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$552.7 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$336.4 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
5.1% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$7,900 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 11.7%; industry: 29.8%; services: 58.5% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
24.7 million; note: about 1.2 million Turks work abroad (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 35.9%, industry 22.8%, services 41.2% (3rd quarter, 2004)

Unemployment Rate
10% plus underemployment of 4% (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
20% (2002)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 2.3%; highest 10%: 30.7% (2000)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
42 (2003)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
7.7% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
19.3% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $93.58 billion; expenditures: $115.3 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
67.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
tobacco, cotton, grain, olives, sugar beets, pulse, citrus; livestock

Industries
textiles, food processing, autos, electronics, mining (coal, chromite, copper, boron), steel, petroleum, construction, lumber, paper

Industrial Production Growth Rate
5.5% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
133.6 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
140.3 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity – Exports
600 million kWh (2002)

Electricity – Imports
1.2 billion kWh (2002)

Oil – Production
50,000 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
715,100 bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Exports
46,110 bbl/day (2001)

Oil – Imports
616,500 bbl/day (2001)

Oil – Proved Reserves
288.4 million bbl (1 January 2002)

Natural Gas – Production
560 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
22.6 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
15.75 billion cu m (2001 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2002)

Current Account Balance
$-22 billion (2005 est.)

Exports
$72.49 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
apparel, foodstuffs, textiles, metal manufactures, transport equipment

Exports – Partners
Germany 13.9%, UK 8.8%, US 7.7%, Italy 7.3%, France 5.8%, Spain 4.2% (2004)

Imports
$101.2 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery, chemicals, semi-finished goods, fuels, transport equipment

Imports – Partners
Germany 12.9%, Russia 9.3%, Italy 7.1%, France 6.4%, US 4.8%, China 4.6%, UK 4.4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$46.5 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$161.8 billion (30 June 2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
ODA, $635.8 million (2002)

Currency (Code)
Turkish lira (YTL); old Turkish lira (TRL) before 1 January 2005

Exchange Rates
Turkish liras per US dollar – 1.3436 (2005), 1.4255 (2004), 1.5009 (2003), 1.5072 (2002), 1.2256 (2001); note: on 1 January 2005 the old Turkish Lira (TRL) was converted to new Turkish Lira (YTL) at a rate of 1,000,000 old to 1 new Turkish Lira

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
19,125,200 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
34,707,500 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: undergoing rapid modernization and expansion, especially with cellular telephones; domestic: additional digital exchanges are permitting a rapid increase in subscribers; the construction of a network of technologically advanced intercity trunk lines, using both fiber-optic cable and digital microwave radio relay is facilitating communication between urban centers; remote areas are reached by a domestic satellite system; the number of subscribers to mobile cellular telephone service is growing rapidly; international: country code – 90; international service is provided by three submarine fiber-optic cables in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, linking Turkey with Italy, Greece, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, and Russia; also by 12 Intelsat earth stations, and by 328 mobile satellite terminals in the Inmarsat and Eutelsat systems (2002)

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 16, FM 107, shortwave 6 (2001)

Television Broadcast Stations
635 (plus 2,934 repeaters) (1995)

Internet Country Code
.tr

Internet Hosts
753,394 (2005)

Internet Users
5.5 million (2003)

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Transportation

Airports
120 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 88; over 3,047 m: 15; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 32; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 19; 914 to 1,523 m: 18; under 914 m: 4 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 32; over 3,047 m: 1; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; 914 to 1,523 m: 8; under 914 m: 20 (2005)

Heliports
16 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 3,177 km; oil 3,562 km (2004)

Railways
total: 8,697 km; standard gauge: 8,697 km 1.435-m gauge (2,122 km electrified) (2004)

Roadways
total: 354,421 km; paved: 147,404 km (including 1,886 km of expressways); unpaved: 207,017 km (2003)

Waterways
1,200 km (2005)

Merchant Marine
total: 538 ships (1000 GRT or over) 4,745,132 GRT/7,261,125 DWT; by type: bulk carrier 109, cargo 235, chemical tanker 45, combination ore/oil 1, container 26, liquefied gas 5, passenger 4, passenger/cargo 51, petroleum tanker 36, refrigerated cargo 1, roll on/roll off 23, specialized tanker 2; foreign-owned: 10 (Cyprus 3, Italy 3, South Korea 1, Monaco 1, Netherlands 1, Switzerland 1); registered in other countries: 344 (Albania 1, Antigua and Barbuda 5, The Bahamas 10, Belize 8, Cambodia 17, Comoros 10, Dominica 1, France 1, Georgia 24, Honduras 1, Isle of Man 3, North Korea 4, Liberia 2, Libya 2, Malta 101, Marshall Islands 24, Netherlands Antilles 8, Panama 31, Russia 54, Saint Kitts and Nevis 2, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 23, Slovakia 8, UK 1, unknown 3) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Aliaga, Ambarli, Eregli, Haydarpasa, Istanbul, Kocaeli (Izmit), Skhira, Toros

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Military

Military Branches
Turkish Armed Forces (TSK): Land Forces, Naval Forces (includes Naval Air and Naval Infantry), Air Force

Military Service Age and Obligation
20 years of age (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 20-49: 16,756,323 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 20-49: 13,905,901 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 679,734 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$12.155 billion (2003)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
5.3% (2003)

Notes
in the early 1990s, the Turkish Land Force was a large but badly equipped infantry force; there were 14 infantry divisions, but only one was mechanized, and out of 16 infantry brigades, only six were mechanized; the overhaul that has taken place since has produced highly mobile forces with greatly enhanced firepower in accordance with NATO’s new strategic concept (2005)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
complex maritime, air, and territorial disputes with Greece in the Aegean Sea; status of north Cyprus question remains; Syria and Iraq protest Turkish hydrological projects to control upper Euphrates waters; Turkey has expressed concern over the status of Kurds in Iraq; border with Armenia remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
IDPs: 350,000-1,000,000 (fighting from 1984-99 between Kurdish PKK and Turkish military; most IDPs in southeastern provinces) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
key transit route for Southwest Asian heroin to Western Europe and – to a far lesser extent the US – via air, land, and sea routes; major Turkish, Iranian, and other international trafficking organizations operate out of Istanbul; laboratories to convert imported morphine base into heroin are in remote regions of Turkey and near Istanbul; government maintains strict controls over areas of legal opium poppy cultivation and output of poppy straw concentrate; lax enforcement of money-laundering controls

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Introduction

Background
The Tajik people came under Russian rule in the 1860s and 1870s, but Russia’s hold on Central Asia weakened following the Revolution of 1917. Bolshevik control of the area was fiercely contested and not fully reestablished until 1925. Tajikistan became independent in 1991 following the breakup of the Soviet Union, and it is now in the process of strengthening its democracy and transitioning to a free market economy after its 1992-1997 civil war. There have been no major security incidents in recent years, although the country remains the poorest in the former Soviet sphere. Attention by the international community in the wake of the war in Afghanistan has brought increased economic development assistance, which could create jobs and increase stability in the long term. Tajikistan is in the early stages of seeking World Trade Organization membership and has joined NATO’s Partnership for Peace.
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Central Asia, west of China

Geographic Coordinates
39 00 N, 71 00 E

Area
total: 143,100 sq km; land: 142,700 sq km; water: 400 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly smaller than Wisconsin

Land Boundaries
total: 3,651 km; border countries: Afghanistan 1,206 km, China 414 km, Kyrgyzstan 870 km, Uzbekistan 1,161 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
midlatitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains

Terrain
Pamir and Alay Mountains dominate landscape; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Syr Darya (Sirdaryo) 300 m; highest point: Qullai Ismoili Somoni 7,495 m

Natural Resources
hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, silver, gold

Land Use
arable land: 6.52%; permanent crops: 0.89%; other: 92.59% (2005)

Irrigated Land
7,200 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
earthquakes and floods

Environment – Current Issues
inadequate sanitation facilities; increasing levels of soil salinity; industrial pollution; excessive pesticides

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Notes
landlocked; mountainous region dominated by the Trans-Alay Range in the north and the Pamirs in the southeast; highest point, Qullai Ismoili Somoni (formerly Communism Peak), was the tallest mountain in the former USSR

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People

Population
7,320,815 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 37.9% (male 1,396,349/female 1,375,168); 15-64 years: 57.4% (male 2,091,476/female 2,108,889); 65 years and over: 4.8% (male 154,162/female 194,771) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 20 years; male: 19.7 years; female: 20.4 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
2.19% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
32.65 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
8.25 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-2.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.99 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female; total population: 0.99 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 106.49 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 117.83 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 94.59 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 64.94 years; male: 62.03 years; female: 68 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
4 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
less than 200 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 100 (2001 est.)

Nationality
noun: Tajikistani(s); adjective: Tajikistani

Ethnic Groups
Tajik 79.9%, Uzbek 15.3%, Russian 1.1%, Kyrgyz 1.1%, other 2.6% (2000 census)

Religions
Sunni Muslim 85%, Shi’a Muslim 5%, other 10% (2003 est.)

Languages
Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.4%; male: 99.6%; female: 99.1% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Tajikistan; conventional short form: Tajikistan; local long form: Jumhurii Tojikiston; local short form: Tojikiston; former: Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic

Capital
Dushanbe

Administrative Divisions
2 provinces (viloyatho, singular – viloyat) and 1 autonomous province* (viloyati mukhtor); Viloyati Khatlon (Qurghonteppa), Viloyati Mukhtori Kuhistoni Badakhshon* [Gorno-Badakhshan] (Khorugh), Viloyati Sughd (Khujand); note: the administrative center name follows in parentheses

Independence
9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Independence Day (or National Day), 9 September (1991)

Constitution
6-Nov-94

Legal System
based on civil law system; no judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Emomali RAHMONOV (since 6 November 1994; head of state and Supreme Assembly chairman since 19 November 1992); head of government: Prime Minister Oqil OQILOV (since 20 January 1999); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president, approved by the Supreme Assembly; elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 6 November 1999 (next to be held November 2006); prime minister appointed by the president; Tajikistan held a constitutional referendum on 22 June 2003 that, among other things, set a limit of two seven-year terms for the president; election results: Emomali RAHMONOV elected president; percent of vote – Emomali RAHMONOV 97%, Davlat USMON 2%

Legislative Branch
bicameral Supreme Assembly or Majlisi Oli consists of the Assembly of Representatives (lower chamber) or Majlisi Namoyandagon (63 seats; members are elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms) and the National Assembly (upper chamber) or Majlisi Milliy (34 seats; members are indirectly elected, 25 selected by local deputies, 8 appointed by the president; 1 seat reserved for the former president; all serve five-year terms); elections: last held 27 February and 13 March 2005 for the Assembly of Representatives (next to be held February 2010) and 25 March 2005 for the National Assembly (next to be held February 2010); election results: Assembly of Representatives – percent of vote by party – PDPT 74.9%, CPT 13.6%, Islamic Revival Party 8.9%, other 2.5%; seats by party – PDPT 51, CPT 5, Islamic Revival Party 2, independents 5; National Assembly – percent of vote by party – NA%; seats by party – PDPT 29, CPT 2, independents 3

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (judges are appointed by the president)

Political Parties and Leaders
Agrarian Party of Tajikistan or APT [Amir KARAKULOV]; Democratic Party or DPT [Mahmadruzi ISKANDAROV]; Islamic Revival Party [Said Abdullo NURI]; Party of Economic Reform or PER [Olimjon BOBOYEV]; People’s Democratic Party of Tajikistan or PDPT [Emomali RAHMONOV]; Social Democratic Party or SDPT [Rahmatullo ZOYIROV]; Socialist Party or SPT [Abdualim GHAFFOROV]; Tajik Communist Party or CPT [Shodi SHABDOLOV]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
unregistered political parties: Agrarian Party [Hikmatullo NASREDDINOV]; Party of Justice [Abdurahim KARIMOV]; People’s Unity Party [Abdumalik ABDULLOJONOV]; Progressive Party [Sulton QUVVATOV]; Socialist Party [Mirhuseyn NAZRIYEV]; note – this is the SPT that was disbanded, another pro-government SPT (listed above under political parties) replaced it; Unity Party [Hikmatullo SAIDOV]

International Organization Participation
AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (subscriber), ITU, MIGA, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Hamrohon ZARIPOV; chancery: 1005 New Hampshire Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20037; telephone: [1] (202) 223-6090; FAX: [1] (202) 223-6091

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard E. HOAGLAND; embassy: 10 Pavlova Street, Dushanbe, Tajikistan 734003; mailing address: 7090 Dushanbe Place, Dulles, VA 20189; telephone: [992] (372) 21-03-48, 21-03-52, 24-15-60; FAX: [992] (372) 21-03-62, 51-00-29

Flag Description
three horizontal stripes of red (top), a wider stripe of white, and green; a gold crown surmounted by seven gold, five-pointed stars is located in the center of the white stripe

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Economy

Overview
Tajikistan has one of the lowest per capita GDPs among the 15 former Soviet republics. Only 6% of the land area is arable; cotton is the most important crop. Mineral resources, varied but limited in amount, include silver, gold, uranium, and tungsten. Industry consists only of a large aluminum plant, hydropower facilities, and small obsolete factories mostly in light industry and food processing. The civil war (1992-97) severely damaged the already weak economic infrastructure and caused a sharp decline in industrial and agricultural production. Even though 64% of its people continue to live in abject poverty, Tajikistan has experienced steady economic growth since 1997, but experienced a slight drop in its growth rate to 8% in 2005 from 10.6% in 2004. Continued privatization of medium and large state-owned enterprises would further increase productivity. Tajikistan’s economic situation, however, remains fragile due to uneven implementation of structural reforms, weak governance, widespread unemployment, and the external debt burden. A debt restructuring agreement was reached with Russia in December 2002, including a $250 million write-off of Tajikistan’s $300 million debt to Russia. Tajikistan ranks third in the world in terms of water resources per head. A proposed investment to finish the hydropower dams Rogun and Sangtuda would substantially add to electricity production. If finished, Rogun will be the world’s tallest dam.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$8.826 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$1.943 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
8% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$1,200 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 24%; industry: 21%; services: 55% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
3.7 million (2003)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 67.2%, industry 7.5%, services 25.3% (2000 est.)

Unemployment Rate
12% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
64% (2004 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 3.2%; highest 10%: 25.2% (1998)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
34.7 (1998)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
8% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
19.1% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $442.3 million; expenditures: $542.6 million; including capital expenditures of $86 million (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
cotton, grain, fruits, grapes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats

Industries
aluminum, zinc, lead; chemicals and fertilizers, cement, vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and freezers

Industrial Production Growth Rate
8.2% (2002 est.)

Electricity – Production
16.5 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity – Consumption
15.05 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
3.874 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
4.81 billion kWh (2004)

Oil – Production
354.8 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Consumption
25,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Natural Gas – Production
30 million cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
1.4 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
1.4 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Current Account Balance
$-92 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$950 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
aluminum, electricity, cotton, fruits, vegetable oil, textiles

Exports – Partners
Netherlands 41.4%, Turkey 15.3%, Uzbekistan 7.2%, Latvia 7.1%, Switzerland 6.9%, Russia 6.6% (2004)

Imports
$1.25 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
electricity, petroleum products, aluminum oxide, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs

Imports – Partners
Russia 20.2%, Uzbekistan 14.2%, Kazakhstan 12.8%, Azerbaijan 7.2%, US 6.7%, China 4.8%, Ukraine 4.5% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$195 million (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$888 million (2004 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$67 million from US (2005)

Currency (Code)
somoni

Exchange Rates
Tajikistani somoni per US dollar – 3.1166 (2005), 2.9705 (2004), 3.0614 (2003), 2.7641 (2002), 2.3722 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
245,200 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
47,600 (2003)

Telephone System
general assessment: poorly developed and not well maintained; many towns are not linked to the national network; domestic: cable and microwave radio relay; international: country code – 992; linked by cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; Dushanbe linked by Intelsat to international gateway switch in Ankara (Turkey); satellite earth stations – 1 Orbita and 2 Intelsat

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 8, FM 10, shortwave 2 (2002)

Television Broadcast Stations
13 (2001)

Internet Country Code
.tj

Internet Hosts
63 (2005)

Internet Users
5,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
45 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 17; over 3,047 m: 2; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 4; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5; 914 to 1,523 m: 3; under 914 m: 3 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 28; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 1; 914 to 1,523 m: 1; under 914 m: 26 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 541 km; oil 38 km (2004)

Railways
total: 482 km; broad gauge: 482 km 1.520-m gauge (2004)

Roadways
total: 27,767 km (2000)

Waterways
200 km (along Vakhsh River) (2006)

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Military

Military Branches
Ground Troops, Air and Air Defense Troops, Mobile Troops (2005)

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation – two years (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,556,415 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,244,941 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 87,846 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$35.4 million (FY01)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
3.9% (FY01)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
boundary agreements signed in 2002 cede 1,000 sq km of Pamir Mountain range to China in return for China relinquishing claims to 28,000 sq km of Tajikistani lands, but neither state has published maps of ceded areas and demarcation has not yet commenced; talks continue with Uzbekistan to delimit border and remove minefields; disputes in Isfara Valley delay delimitation with Kyrgyzstan

Illicit Drugs
major transit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and, to a lesser extent, Western European markets; limited illicit cultivation of opium poppy for domestic consumption; Tajikistan seizes roughly 80% of all drugs captured in Central Asia and stands third worldwide in seizures of opiates (heroin and raw opium)

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Introduction

Background
Founded in the 12th century, the Principality of Muscovy, was able to emerge from over 200 years of Mongol domination (13th-15th centuries) and to gradually conquer and absorb surrounding principalities. In the early 17th century, a new Romanov Dynasty continued this policy of expansion across Siberia to the Pacific. Under PETER I (ruled 1682-1725), hegemony was extended to the Baltic Sea and the country was renamed the Russian Empire. During the 19th century, more territorial acquisitions were made in Europe and Asia. Repeated devastating defeats of the Russian army in World War I led to widespread rioting in the major cities of the Russian Empire and to the overthrow in 1917 of the imperial household. The Communists under Vladimir LENIN seized power soon after and formed the USSR. Iosif STALIN (1928-53) strengthened communist rule and Russian dominance of the Soviet Union at a cost of tens of millions of lives. The Soviet economy and society stagnated in the following decades until General Secretary Mikhail GORBACHEV (1985-91) introduced glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring) in an attempt to modernize Communism, but his initiatives inadvertently released forces that by December 1991 splintered the USSR into Russia and 14 other independent republics. Since then, Russia has struggled in its efforts to build a democratic political system and market economy to replace the strict social, political, and economic controls of the Communist period. While some progress has been made on the economic front, recent years have seen a recentralization of power under Vladimir PUTIN and the erosion of nascent democratic institutions. A determined guerrilla conflict still plagues Russia in Chechnya and threatens to destabilize the North Caucasus region.
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Northern Asia (the area west of the Urals is considered part of Europe), bordering the Arctic Ocean, between Europe and the North Pacific Ocean

Geographic Coordinates
60 00 N, 100 00 E

Area
total: 17,075,200 sq km; land: 16,995,800 sq km; water: 79,400 sq km

Area Comparative
approximately 1.8 times the size of the US

Land Boundaries
total: 20,017 km; border countries: Azerbaijan 284 km, Belarus 959 km, China (southeast) 3,605 km, China (south) 40 km, Estonia 294 km, Finland 1,340 km, Georgia 723 km, Kazakhstan 6,846 km, North Korea 19 km, Latvia 217 km, Lithuania (Kaliningrad Oblast) 227 km, Mongolia 3,485 km, Norway 196 km, Poland (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Ukraine 1,576 km

Coastline
37,653 km

Maritime Claims
territorial sea: 12 nm; exclusive economic zone: 200 nm; continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation

Climate
ranges from steppes in the south through humid continental in much of European Russia; subarctic in Siberia to tundra climate in the polar north; winters vary from cool along Black Sea coast to frigid in Siberia; summers vary from warm in the steppes to cool along Arctic coast

Terrain
broad plain with low hills west of Urals; vast coniferous forest and tundra in Siberia; uplands and mountains along southern border regions

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m; highest point: Gora El’brus 5,633 m

Natural Resources
wide natural resource base including major deposits of oil, natural gas, coal, and many strategic minerals, timber; note: formidable obstacles of climate, terrain, and distance hinder exploitation of natural resources

Land Use
arable land: 7.17%; permanent crops: 0.11%; other: 92.72% (2005)

Irrigated Land
46,630 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
permafrost over much of Siberia is a major impediment to development; volcanic activity in the Kuril Islands; volcanoes and earthquakes on the Kamchatka Peninsula; spring floods and summer/autumn forest fires throughout Siberia and parts of European Russia

Environment – Current Issues
air pollution from heavy industry, emissions of coal-fired electric plants, and transportation in major cities; industrial, municipal, and agricultural pollution of inland waterways and seacoasts; deforestation; soil erosion; soil contamination from improper application of agricultural chemicals; scattered areas of sometimes intense radioactive contamination; groundwater contamination from toxic waste; urban solid waste management; abandoned stocks of obsolete pesticides

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Wetlands, Whaling; signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Sulfur 94

Notes
largest country in the world in terms of area but unfavorably located in relation to major sea lanes of the world; despite its size, much of the country lacks proper soils and climates (either too cold or too dry) for agriculture; Mount El’brus is Europe’s tallest peak

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People

Population
142,893,540 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 14.2% (male 10,441,151/female 9,921,102); 15-64 years: 71.3% (male 49,271,698/female 52,679,463); 65 years and over: 14.4% (male 6,500,814/female 14,079,312) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 38.4 years; male: 35.2 years; female: 41.3 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
-0.37% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
9.95 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
14.65 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
1.03 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.94 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.46 male(s)/female; total population: 0.86 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 15.13 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 17.43 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 12.7 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 67.08 years; male: 60.45 years; female: 74.1 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.28 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
1.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
860,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
9,000 (2001 est.)

Nationality
noun: Russian(s); adjective: Russian

Ethnic Groups
Russian 79.8%, Tatar 3.8%, Ukrainian 2%, Bashkir 1.2%, Chuvash 1.1%, other or unspecified 12.1% (2002 census)

Religions
Russian Orthodox, Muslim, other

Languages
Russian, many minority languages

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 99.6%; male: 99.7%; female: 99.5% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Russian Federation; conventional short form: Russia; local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya; local short form: Rossiya; former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

Government Type
federation

Capital
Moscow

Administrative Divisions
48 oblasts (oblastey, singular – oblast), 21 republics (respublik, singular – respublika), 9 autonomous okrugs (avtonomnykh okrugov, singular – avtonomnyy okrug), 7 krays (krayev, singular – kray), 2 federal cities (singular – gorod), and 1 autonomous oblast (avtonomnaya oblast’): oblasts: Amur (Blagoveshchensk), Arkhangel’sk, Astrakhan’, Belgorod, Bryansk, Chelyabinsk, Chita, Irkutsk, Ivanovo, Kaliningrad, Kaluga, Kamchatka (Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy), Kemerovo, Kirov, Kostroma, Kurgan, Kursk, Leningrad, Lipetsk, Magadan, Moscow, Murmansk, Nizhniy Novgorod, Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Omsk, Orenburg, Orel, Penza, Pskov, Rostov, Ryazan’, Sakhalin (Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk), Samara, Saratov, Smolensk, Sverdlovsk (Yekaterinburg), Tambov, Tomsk, Tula, Tver’, Tyumen’, Ul’yanovsk, Vladimir, Volgograd, Vologda, Voronezh, Yaroslavl’: republics: Adygeya (Maykop), Altay (Gorno-Altaysk), Bashkortostan (Ufa), Buryatiya (Ulan-Ude), Chechnya (Groznyy), Chuvashiya (Cheboksary), Dagestan (Makhachkala), Ingushetiya (Magas), Kabardino-Balkariya (Nal’chik), Kalmykiya (Elista), Karachayevo-Cherkesiya (Cherkessk), Kareliya (Petrozavodsk), Khakasiya (Abakan), Komi (Syktyvkar), Mariy-El (Yoshkar-Ola), Mordoviya (Saransk), Sakha [Yakutiya] (Yakutsk), North Ossetia (Vladikavkaz), Tatarstan (Kazan’), Tyva (Kyzyl), Udmurtiya (Izhevsk): autonomous okrugs: Aga Buryat (Aginskoye), Chukotka (Anadyr’), Evenk (Tura), Khanty-Mansi, Koryak (Palana), Nenets (Nar’yan-Mar), Taymyr [Dolgano-Nenets] (Dudinka), Ust’-Orda Buryat (Ust’-Ordynskiy), Yamalo-Nenets (Salekhard): krays: Altay (Barnaul), Khabarovsk, Krasnodar, Krasnoyarsk, Permskiy, Primorskiy (Vladivostok), Stavropol’: federal cities: Moscow (Moskva), Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg): autonomous oblast: Yevrey [Jewish] (Birobidzhan); note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)

Independence
24 August 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Russia Day, 12 June (1990)

Constitution
adopted 12 December 1993

Legal System
based on civil law system; judicial review of legislative acts

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN (acting president 31 December 1999-6 May 2000, president since 7 May 2000); head of government: Premier Mikhail Yefimovich FRADKOV (since 5 March 2004); First Deputy Premier Dmitriy Anatolyevich MEDVEDEV (since 14 November 2005), Deputy Premiers Aleksandr Dmitriyevich ZHUKOV (since 9 March 2004) and Sergey Borisovich IVANOV (since 14 November 2005); cabinet: Ministries of the Government or “Government” composed of the premier and his deputies, ministers, and selected other individuals; all are appointed by the president; note: there is also a Presidential Administration (PA) that provides staff and policy support to the president, drafts presidential decrees, and coordinates policy among government agencies; a Security Council also reports directly to the president; elections: president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 14 March 2004 (next to be held March 2008); note – no vice president; if the president dies in office, cannot exercise his powers because of ill health, is impeached, or resigns, the premier serves as acting president until a new presidential election is held, which must be within three months; premier appointed by the president with the approval of the Duma; election results: Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN reelected president; percent of vote – Vladimir Vladimirovich PUTIN 71.2%, Nikolay KHARITONOV 13.7%, other (no candidate above 5%) 15.1%

Legislative Branch
bicameral Federal Assembly or Federalnoye Sobraniye consists of the Federation Council or Sovet Federatsii (178 seats; as of July 2000, members appointed by the top executive and legislative officials in each of the 88 federal administrative units – oblasts, krays, republics, autonomous okrugs and oblasts, and the federal cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg; members serve four-year terms) and the State Duma or Gosudarstvennaya Duma (450 seats; currently elected by proportional representation from party lists winning at least 7% of the vote; members are elected by direct, popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections: State Duma – last held 7 December 2003 (next to be held in December 2007); election results: State Duma – percent of vote received by parties clearing the 5% threshold entitling them to a proportional share of the 225 party list seats – United Russia 37.1%, CPRF 12.7%, LDPR 11.6%, Motherland 9.1%; seats by party – United Russia 222, CPRF 53, LDPR 38, Motherland 37, People’s Party 19, Yabloko 4, SPS 2, other 7, independents 65, repeat election required 3

Judicial Branch
Constitutional Court; Supreme Court; Supreme Arbitration Court; judges for all courts are appointed for life by the Federation Council on the recommendation of the president

Political Parties and Leaders
Communist Party of the Russian Federation or CPRF [Gennadiy Andreyevich ZYUGANOV]; Liberal Democratic Party of Russia or LDPR [Vladimir Volfovich ZHIRINOVSKIY]; Motherland Bloc (Rodina) [Dmitriy ROGOZIN]; People’s Party [Gennady RAIKOV]; Union of Right Forces or SPS [Nikita BELYKH]; United Russia [Boris Vyacheslavovich GRYZLOV]; Yabloko Party [Grigoriy Alekseyevich YAVLINSKIY]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
NA

International Organization Participation
APEC, Arctic Council, ARF, ASEAN (dialogue partner), BIS, BSEC, CBSS, CE, CERN (observer), CIS, EAPC, EBRD, G- 8, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), IPU, ISO, ITU, LAIA (observer), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUC, NAM (guest), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC (observer), ONUB, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, SCO, UN, UN Security Council, UNAMSIL, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNITAR, UNMEE, UNMIL, UNMIS, UNMOVIC, UNOCI, UNOMIG, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer), ZC

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Yuriy Viktorovich USHAKOV; chancery: 2650 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 298-5700, 5701, 5704, 5708; FAX: [1] (202) 298-5735; consulate(s) general: Houston, New York, San Francisco, Seattle

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador William J. BURNS; embassy: Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok No. 8, 121099 Moscow; mailing address: PSC-77, APO AE 09721; telephone: [7] (095) 728-5000; FAX: [7] (095) 728-5090; consulate(s) general: Saint Petersburg, Vladivostok, Yekaterinburg

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of white (top), blue, and red

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Economy

Overview
Russia ended 2005 with its seventh straight year of growth, averaging 6.4% annually since the financial crisis of 1998. Although high oil prices and a relatively cheap ruble are important drivers of this economic rebound, since 2000 investment and consumer-driven demand have played a noticeably increasing role. Real fixed capital investments have averaged gains greater than 10% over the last five years, and real personal incomes have realized average increases over 12%. During this time, poverty has declined steadily and the middle class has continued to expand. Russia has also improved its international financial position since the 1998 financial crisis, with its foreign debt declining from 90% of GDP to around 31%. Strong oil export earnings have allowed Russia to increase its foreign reserves from only $12 billion to some $180 billion at yearend 2005. These achievements, along with a renewed government effort to advance structural reforms, have raised business and investor confidence in Russia’s economic prospects. Nevertheless, serious problems persist. Economic growth slowed to 5.9% for 2005 while inflation remains high. Oil, natural gas, metals, and timber account for more than 80% of exports, leaving the country vulnerable to swings in world prices. Russia’s manufacturing base is dilapidated and must be replaced or modernized if the country is to achieve broad-based economic growth. Other problems include a weak banking system, a poor business climate that discourages both domestic and foreign investors, corruption, and widespread lack of trust in institutions. In addition, a string of investigations launched against a major Russian oil company, culminating with the arrest of its CEO in the fall of 2003 and the acquisition of the company by a state owned firm, have raised concerns by some observers that President PUTIN is granting more influence to forces within his government that desire to reassert state control over the economy. State control has increased in the past year with a number of large acquisitions. Most fundamentally, Russia has made little progress in building the rule of law, the bedrock of a modern market economy.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$1.539 trillion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$740.7 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
5.9% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$10,700 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 5%; industry: 35%; services: 60% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
74.22 million (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 10.3%, industry 21.4%, services 68.3% (2004 est.)

Unemployment Rate
7.6% plus considerable underemployment (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
17.8% (2004 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 1.7%; highest 10%: 38.7% (1998)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
40 (2002)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
11% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
17.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $176.7 billion; expenditures: $125.6 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
15.6% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
grain, sugar beets, sunflower seed, vegetables, fruits; beef, milk

Industries
complete range of mining and extractive industries producing coal, oil, gas, chemicals, and metals; all forms of machine building from rolling mills to high-performance aircraft and space vehicles; defense industries including radar, missile production, and advanced electronic components, shipbuilding; road and rail transportation equipment; communications equipment; agricultural machinery, tractors, and construction equipment; electric power generating and transmitting equipment; medical and scientific instruments; consumer durables, textiles, foodstuffs, handicrafts

Industrial Production Growth Rate
4% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
931 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity – Consumption
811.5 billion kWh (2004)

Electricity – Exports
24 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
14 billion kWh (2002)

Oil – Production
9.15 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
2.8 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Exports
5.15 million bbl/day (2004)

Oil – Imports
75,000 bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
69 billion bbl (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Production
587 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
402.1 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
157.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
12 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
47.57 trillion cu m (2003)

Current Account Balance
$89.31 billion (2005 est.)

Exports
$245 billion (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
petroleum and petroleum products, natural gas, wood and wood products, metals, chemicals, and a wide variety of civilian and military manufactures

Exports – Partners
Netherlands 9.1%, Germany 8%, Ukraine 6.4%, Italy 6.2%, China 6%, US 5%, Switzerland 4.7%, Turkey 4.3% (2004)

Imports
$125 billion (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery and equipment, consumer goods, medicines, meat, sugar, semifinished metal products

Imports – Partners
Germany 15.3%, Ukraine 8.8%, China 6.9%, Japan 5.7%, Kazakhstan 5%, US 4.6%, Italy 4.6%, France 4.4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$181.3 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$230.3 billion (30 June 2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
in FY01 from US, $979 million (including $750 million in non-proliferation subsidies); in 2001 from EU, $200 million (2000 est.)

Currency (Code)
Russian ruble (RUR)

Exchange Rates
Russian rubles per US dollar – 28.284 (2005), 28.814 (2004), 30.692 (2003), 31.349 (2002), 29.169 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
39.616 million (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
74.42 million (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: the telephone system underwent significant changes in the 1990s; there are more than 1,000 companies licensed to offer communication services; access to digital lines has improved, particularly in urban centers; Internet and e-mail services are improving; Russia has made progress toward building the telecommunications infrastructure necessary for a market economy; however, a large demand for main line service remains unsatisfied; domestic: cross-country digital trunk lines run from Saint Petersburg to Khabarovsk, and from Moscow to Novorossiysk; the telephone systems in 60 regional capitals have modern digital infrastructures; cellular services, both analog and digital, are available in many areas; in rural areas, the telephone services are still outdated, inadequate, and low density; international: country code – 7; Russia is connected internationally by three undersea fiber-optic cables; digital switches in several cities provide more than 50,000 lines for international calls; satellite earth stations provide access to Intelsat, Intersputnik, Eutelsat, Inmarsat, and Orbita systems

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 323, FM 1,500 est., shortwave 62 (2004)

Television Broadcast Stations
7,306 (1998)

Internet Country Code
.ru; note – Russia also has responsibility for a legacy domain “.su” that was allocated to the Soviet Union, and whose legal status and ownership are contested by the Russian Government, ICANN, and several Russian commercial entities

Internet Hosts
1,306,427 (2005)

Internet Users
23.7 million (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
1,730 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 640; over 3,047 m: 51; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 199; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 129; 914 to 1,523 m: 109; under 914 m: 152 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 1,090; over 3,047 m: 16; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 30; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 88; 914 to 1,523 m: 135; under 914 m: 821 (2005)

Heliports
42 (2005)

Pipelines
condensate 122 km; gas 150,007 km; oil 75,539 km; refined products 13,771 km (2004)

Railways
total: 87,157 km; broad gauge: 86,200 km 1.520-m gauge (40,300 km electrified); narrow gauge: 957 km 1.067-m gauge (on Sakhalin Island); note: an additional 30,000 km of non-common carrier lines serve industries (2004)

Roadways
total: 537,289 km; paved: 362,133 km; unpaved: 175,156 km (2001)

Waterways
96,000 km; note: 72,000 km system in European Russia links Baltic Sea, White Sea, Caspian Sea, Sea of Azov, and Black Sea (2004)

Merchant Marine
total: 1,199 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,138,457 GRT/6,385,116 DWT; by type: barge carrier 48, bulk carrier 44, cargo 766, chemical tanker 24, container 12, passenger 12, passenger/cargo 9, petroleum tanker 218, refrigerated cargo 49, roll on/roll off 12, specialized tanker 5; foreign-owned: 86 (Cyprus 1, Estonia 1, Germany 2, Greece 1, Latvia 2, Malta 5, Norway 1, Russia 1, Sweden 1, Switzerland 8, Turkey 54, Ukraine 9); registered in other countries: 382 (Antigua and Barbuda 6, The Bahamas 4, Belize 33, Cambodia 73, Comoros 5, Cyprus 54, Denmark 1, Dominica 2, Georgia 20, North Korea 2, Latvia 1, Liberia 65, Malta 60, Marshall Islands 1, Mongolia 10, Panama 6, Russia 1, Saint Kitts and Nevis 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 21, Sierra Leone 1, unknown 10, Vanuatu 1, Venezuela 1) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Anapa, Kaliningrad, Murmansk, Nakhodka, Novorossiysk, Rostov-na-Donu, Saint Petersburg, Taganrog, Vanino, Vostochnyy

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Military

Military Branches
Ground Forces (SV), Navy (VMF), Air Forces (VVS); Airborne Troops (VDV), Strategic Rocket Troops (RVSN), and Space Troops (KV) are independent “combat arms,” not subordinate to any of the three branches

Military Service Age and Obligation
Russia has adopted a mixed conscript-contract force; 18-27 years of age; males are registered for the draft at 17 years of age; length of compulsory military service is two years; plans as of November 2005 call for reduction in mandatory service to one year by 2008; 30% of Russian army personnel were contract servicemen at the end of 2005; planning calls for volunteer servicemen to compose 70% of armed forces by 2010, with the remaining servicemen consisting of conscripts; at the end of 2005, the Army had 40 all-volunteer permanent-readiness units, with another 20 permanent-readiness units to be formed in 2006; 88 MoD units have been designated as permanent readiness units and are expected to become all-volunteer by end 2007; these include most air force, naval, and nuclear arms units, as well as all airborne and naval infantry units, most motorized rifle brigades, and all special forces detachments (2005)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 35,247,049 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 21,049,651 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 1,286,069 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
NA

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
NA

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
in 2005, China and Russia ratified the treaty to divide up the islands in the Amur, Ussuri, and Argun Rivers, representing the final portion of their centuries-long border disputes; the sovereignty dispute over the islands of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan, and the Habomai group, known in Japan as the “Northern Territories” and in Russia as the “Southern Kurils,” occupied by the Soviet Union in 1945, now administered by Russia, and claimed by Japan, remains the primary sticking point to signing a peace treaty formally ending World War II hostilities; Russia and Georgia agree on delimiting all but small, strategic segments of the land boundary and the maritime boundary; OSCE observers monitor volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia; Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Russia signed equidistance boundaries in the Caspian seabed but the littoral states have no consensus on dividing the water column; Russia and Norway dispute their maritime limits in the Barents Sea and Russia’s fishing rights beyond Svalbard’s territorial limits within the Svalbard Treaty zone; various groups in Finland advocate restoration of Karelia and other areas ceded to the Soviet Union following the Second World War but the Finnish Government asserts no territorial demands; in May 2005, Russia recalled its signatures to the 1996 border agreements with Estonia (1996) and Latvia (1997), when the two Baltic states announced issuance of unilateral declarations referencing Soviet occupation and ensuing territorial losses; Russia demands better treatment of ethnic Russians in Estonia and Latvia; Estonian citizen groups continue to press for realignment of the boundary based on the 1920 Tartu Peace Treaty that would bring the now divided ethnic Setu people and parts of the Narva region within Estonia; Lithuania and Russia committed to demarcating their boundary in 2006 in accordance with the land and maritime treaty ratified by Russia in May 2003 and by Lithuania in 1999; Lithuania operates a simplified transit regime for Russian nationals traveling from the Kaliningrad coastal exclave into Russia, while still conforming, as a member state that forms part of the EU’s external border, to strict Schengen border rules; delimitation of land boundary with Ukraine is complete, but states have renewed discussions on demarcation; the dispute over the maritime boundary between Russia and Ukraine through the Kerch Strait and Sea of Azov remains unresolved despite a December 2003 framework agreement and on-going expert-level discussions; discussions toward economic and political union with Belarus advance slowly; Kazakhstan and Russia boundary delimitation ratified November 2005 and demarcation is underway; Russian Duma has not yet ratified 1990 Maritime Boundary Agreement with the US in the Bering Sea

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
IDPs: 339,000 (displacement from Chechnya and North Ossetia) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
limited cultivation of illicit cannabis and opium poppy and producer of methamphetamine, mostly for domestic consumption; government has active illicit crop eradication program; used as transshipment point for Asian opiates, cannabis, and Latin American cocaine bound for growing domestic markets, to a lesser extent Western and Central Europe, and occasionally to the US; major source of heroin precursor chemicals; corruption and organized crime are key concerns; heroin increasingly popular in domestic market

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Introduction

Background
Native Kazakhs, a mix of Turkic and Mongol nomadic tribes who migrated into the region in the 13th century, were rarely united as a single nation. The area was conquered by Russia in the 18th century, and Kazakhstan became a Soviet Republic in 1936. During the 1950s and 1960s agricultural “Virgin Lands” program, Soviet citizens were encouraged to help cultivate Kazakhstan’s northern pastures. This influx of immigrants (mostly Russians, but also some other deported nationalities) skewed the ethnic mixture and enabled non-Kazakhs to outnumber natives. Independence in 1991 caused many of these newcomers to emigrate. Current issues include: developing a cohesive national identity; expanding the development of the country’s vast energy resources and exporting them to world markets; achieving a sustainable economic growth outside the oil, gas, and mining sectors; and strengthening relations with neighboring states and other foreign powers.
» Geography
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» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Central Asia, northwest of China; a small portion west of the Ural River in eastern-most Europe

Geographic Coordinates
48 00 N, 68 00 E

Area
total: 2,717,300 sq km; land: 2,669,800 sq km; water: 47,500 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly less than four times the size of Texas

Land Boundaries
total: 12,012 km; border countries: China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked); note – Kazakhstan borders the Aral Sea, now split into two bodies of water (1,070 km), and the Caspian Sea (1,894 km)

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
continental, cold winters and hot summers, arid and semiarid

Terrain
extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Vpadina Kaundy -132 m; highest point: Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m

Natural Resources
major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

Land Use
arable land: 8.28%; permanent crops: 0.05%; other: 91.67% (2005)

Irrigated Land
23,320 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty

Environment – Current Issues
radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers which flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

noteNotes
landlocked; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

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People

Population
15,233,244 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 23% (male 1,792,685/female 1,717,294); 15-64 years: 68.8% (male 5,122,027/female 5,357,819); 65 years and over: 8.2% (male 438,541/female 804,878) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 28.8 years; male: 27.2 years; female: 30.5 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
0.33% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
16 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
9.42 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-3.33 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.06 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.55 male(s)/female; total population: 0.93 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 28.3 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 32.88 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 23.45 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 66.89 years; male: 61.56 years; female: 72.52 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.89 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
0.2% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
16,500 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 200 (2003 est.)

Nationality
noun: Kazakhstani(s); adjective: Kazakhstani

Ethnic Groups
Kazakh (Qazaq) 53.4%, Russian 30%, Ukrainian 3.7%, Uzbek 2.5%, German 2.4%, Tatar 1.7%, Uygur 1.4%, other 4.9% (1999 census)

Religions
Muslim 47%, Russian Orthodox 44%, Protestant 2%, other 7%

Languages
Kazakh (Qazaq, state language) 64.4%, Russian (official, used in everyday business, designated the “language of interethnic communication”) 95% (2001 est.)

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.4%; male: 99.1%; female: 97.7% (1999 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan; conventional short form: Kazakhstan; local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy; local short form: none; former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch

Capital
Astana; note – the government moved from Almaty to Astana in December 1998

Administrative Divisions
14 provinces (oblystar, singular – oblys) and 3 cities* (qala, singular – qalasy); Almaty Oblysy, Almaty Qalasy*, Aqmola Oblysy (Astana), Aqtobe Oblysy, Astana Qalasy*, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oral), Bayqongyr Qalasy*, Mangghystau Oblysy (Aqtau), Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Shymkent), Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy (Oskemen), Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy (Petropavlovsk), Zhambyl Oblysy (Taraz); note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses); in 1995, the Governments of Kazakhstan and Russia entered into an agreement whereby Russia would lease for a period of 20 years an area of 6,000 sq km enclosing the Baykonur space launch facilities and the city of Bayqongyr (Baykonur, formerly Leninsk); in 2004, a new agreement extended the lease to 2050

Independence
16 December 1991 (from the Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Independence Day, 16 December (1991)

Constitution
first post-independence constitution adopted 28 January 1993; new constitution adopted by national referendum 30 August 1995

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV (chairman of the Supreme Soviet from 22 February 1990, elected president 1 December 1991); head of government: Prime Minister Daniyal AKHMETOV (since 13 June 2003); Deputy Prime Minister Karim MASIMOV (since 19 January 2006); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the president; elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term; election last held 4 December 2005 (next to be held in 2012); prime minister and first deputy prime minister appointed by the president; election results: Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV reelected president; percent of vote – Nursultan A. NAZARBAYEV 91.1%, Zharmakhan A. TUYAKBAI 6.6%, Alikhan M. BAIMENOV 1.6%; note: President NAZARBAYEV arranged a referendum in 1995 that extended his term of office and expanded his presidential powers: only he can initiate constitutional amendments, appoint and dismiss the government, dissolve Parliament, call referenda at his discretion, and appoint administrative heads of regions and cities

Legislative Branch
bicameral Parliament consists of the Senate (39 seats; 7 senators are appointed by the president; other members are elected by local government bodies, 2 from each of the 14 oblasts, the capital of Astana, and the city of Almaty, to serve six-year terms; note – formerly composed of 47 seats) and the Mazhilis (77 seats; 10 out of the 77 Mazhilis members are elected from the winning party’s lists; members are popularly elected to serve five-year terms); elections: Senate – (indirect) last held December 2005; next to be held in 2011; Mazhilis – last held 19 September and 3 October 2004 (next to be held in September 2009); election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – NA; candidates nominated by local councils; Mazhilis – percent of vote by party – NA; seats by party – Otan 42, AIST 11, ASAR (All Together) 4, Aq Zhol (Bright Path) 1, Democratic Party 1 (party refused to take the seat due to criticism of the election and seat remained unoccupied), independent 18; note – most independent candidates are affiliated with parastatal enterprises and other pro-government institutions

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (44 members); Constitutional Council (7 members)

Political Parties and Leaders
Agrarian and Industrial Union of Workers Bloc or AIST (comprised of the Agrarian Party and Civic Party) [leader NA]; Agrarian Party [Romin MADINOV, chairman]; Aq Zhol Party (Bright Path) [Alikhan BAIMENOV, chairman]; ASAR (All Together) [Dariga NAZARBAYEVA, chairwoman]; AUL (Village) [Gani KALIYEV, chairman]; Civic Party [Azat PERUASHEV, first secretary]; Communist Party of Kazakhstan or KPK [Serikbolsyn ABDILDIN, first secretary]; Communist People’s Party of Kazakhstan [Vladislav KOSAREV, first secretary]; Democratic Party of Kazakhstan [Maksut NARIKBAEV, chairman]; Otan (Fatherland) [Bakhytzhan ZHUMAGULOV, executor]; Patriots’ Party [Gani KASYMOV, chairman]; Rukhaniyat [Altynshash ZHAGANOVA, chairwoman]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Adil-Soz [Tamara KALEYEVA]; Almaty Helsinki Group [Ninel FOKINA]; Confederation of Free Trade Unions [Sergei BELKIN]; For a Just Kazakhstan [Bolat ABILOV, Altynbek SARSENBAYEV]; For Fair Elections [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, Sabit ZHUSUPOV, Sergey DUVANOV, Ibrash NUSUPBAYEV]; Kazakhstan International Bureau on Human Rights [Yevgeniy ZHOVTIS, executive director]; Pensioners Movement or Pokoleniye [Irina SAVOSTINA, chairwoman]; Republican Network of International Monitors [Dos KUSHIM]; Transparency International [Sergei ZLOTNIKOV]

International Organization Participation
AsDB, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), NSG, OAS (observer), OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SCO, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Kanat B. SAUDABAYEV; chancery: 1401 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: [1] (202) 232-5488; FAX: [1] (202) 232-5845; consulate(s): New York

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador John M. ORDWAY; embassy: 97 Zholdasbekova, Samal-2, Almaty, 480099; mailing address: use embassy street address; telephone: [7] (3272) 50-48-02; FAX: [7] (3272) 50-48-84

Flag Description
sky blue background representing the endless sky and a gold sun with 32 rays soaring above a golden steppe eagle in the center; on the hoist side is a “national ornamentation” in gold

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Economy

Overview
Kazakhstan, the largest of the former Soviet republics in territory, excluding Russia, possesses enormous fossil fuel reserves and plentiful supplies of other minerals and metals. It also has a large agricultural sector featuring livestock and grain. Kazakhstan’s industrial sector rests on the extraction and processing of these natural resources and also on a growing machine-building sector specializing in construction equipment, tractors, agricultural machinery, and some defense items. The breakup of the USSR in December 1991 and the collapse in demand for Kazakhstan’s traditional heavy industry products resulted in a short-term contraction of the economy, with the steepest annual decline occurring in 1994. In 1995-97, the pace of the government program of economic reform and privatization quickened, resulting in a substantial shifting of assets into the private sector. Kazakhstan enjoyed double-digit growth in 2000-01 – 9% or more per year in 2002-05 – thanks largely to its booming energy sector, but also to economic reform, good harvests, and foreign investment. The opening of the Caspian Consortium pipeline in 2001, from western Kazakhstan’s Tengiz oilfield to the Black Sea, substantially raised export capacity. Kazakhstan also has begun work on an ambitious cooperative construction effort with China to build an oil pipeline that will extend from the country’s Caspian coast eastward to the Chinese border. The country has embarked upon an industrial policy designed to diversify the economy away from overdependence on the oil sector by developing light industry. The policy aims to reduce the influence of foreign investment and foreign personnel. The government has engaged in several disputes with foreign oil companies over the terms of production agreements; tensions continue. Upward pressure on the local currency continued in 2005 due to massive oil-related foreign-exchange inflows.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$133.2 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$42.75 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
9% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$8,800 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 7.8%; industry: 40.4%; services: 51.8% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
7.85 million (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 20%, industry 30%, services 50% (2002 est.)

Unemployment Rate
7.6% (2005 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
19% (2004 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 3.3%; highest 10%: 26.5% (2004 est.)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
31.5 (2003)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
7.4% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
22% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $12.19 billion; expenditures: $12.44 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Public Debt
9.8% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
grain (mostly spring wheat), cotton; livestock

Industries
oil, coal, iron ore, manganese, chromite, lead, zinc, copper, titanium, bauxite, gold, silver, phosphates, sulfur, iron and steel; tractors and other agricultural machinery, electric motors, construction materials

Industrial Production Growth Rate
10.7% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
60.33 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
52.55 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
6 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
2.45 billion kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
1.3 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
221,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
890,000 bbl/day (2003)

Oil – Imports
47,000 bbl/day (2003)

Oil – Proved Reserves
26 billion bbl (1 January 2004)

Natural Gas – Production
18.5 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
15.2 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
4.1 billion cu m (2004 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
NA cu m

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
3 trillion cu m (1 January 2004)

Current Account Balance
$3.343 billion (2005 est.)

Exports
$30.09 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
oil and oil products 58%, ferrous metals 24%, chemicals 5%, machinery 3%, grain, wool, meat, coal (2001)

Exports – Partners
Russia 15.1%, Bermuda 13.8%, Germany 11%, China 9.9%, France 6.6%, Italy 4% (2004)

Imports
$17.51 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
machinery and equipment 41%, metal products 28%, foodstuffs 8% (2001)

Imports – Partners
Russia 34.6%, China 15.4%, Germany 8.2%, France 5.7%, Ukraine 4.6% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$11.13 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$32.7 billion (2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$74.2 million in US assistance programs, 1992-2000 (FY2004)

Currency (Code)
tenge (KZT)

Exchange Rates
tenge per US dollar – 132.88 (2005), 136.04 (2004), 149.58 (2003), 153.28 (2002), 146.74 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
2.5 million (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
2,758,900 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: service is poor; equipment antiquated; domestic: intercity by landline and microwave radio relay; mobile cellular systems are available in most of Kazakhstan; international: country code – 7; international traffic with other former Soviet republics and China carried by landline and microwave radio relay and with other countries by satellite and by the Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic cable; satellite earth stations – 2 Intelsat

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 60, FM 17, shortwave 9 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
12 (plus nine repeaters) (1998)

Internet Country Code
.kz

Internet Hosts
20,327 (2005)

Internet Users
400,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
160 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 66; over 3,047 m: 9; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 26; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 17; 914 to 1,523 m: 4; under 914 m: 10 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 94; over 3,047 m: 6; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 6; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 12; 914 to 1,523 m: 12; under 914 m: 58 (2005)

Heliports
4 (2005)

Pipelines
condensate 18 km; gas 10,370 km; oil 10,158 km; refined products 1,187 km (2004)

Railways
total: 13,700 km; broad gauge: 13,700 km 1.520-m gauge (3,700 km electrified) (2004)

Roadways
total: 354,171 km; paved: 247,347 km; unpaved: 106,824 km (2003)

Waterways
4,000 km (on the Ertis (Irtysh) (80%) and Syr Darya (Syrdariya) rivers) (2005)

Merchant Marine
total: 5 ships (1000 GRT or over) 19,949 GRT/31,115 DWT; by type: cargo 2, petroleum tanker 2, refrigerated cargo 1; foreign-owned: 2 (Oman 2); registered in other countries: 1 (Marshall Islands 1) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Aqtau (Shevchenko), Atyrau (Gur’yev), Oskemen (Ust-Kamenogorsk), Pavlodar, Semey (Semipalatinsk)

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Military

Military Branches
Ground Forces, Air and Air Defense Forces, Naval Force, Republican Guard

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service; conscript service obligation – two years; minimum age for volunteers NA (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 3,758,255 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 2,473,529 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 173,129 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$221.8 million (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
0.9% (Ministry of Defense expenditures) (FY02)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
in 2005, Kazakhstan agreed with Russia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to commence demarcating their boundaries; delimitation with Kyrgyzstan is complete; creation of a seabed boundary with Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea remains unresolved; equidistant seabed treaties have been ratified with Azerbaijan and Russia in the Caspian Sea, but no resolution has been made on dividing the water column among any of the littoral states

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 13,684 (Russia) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
significant illicit cultivation of cannabis for CIS markets, as well as limited cultivation of opium poppy and ephedra (for the drug ephedrine); limited government eradication of illicit crops; transit point for Southwest Asian narcotics bound for Russia and the rest of Europe

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Introduction

Background
Known as Persia until 1935, Iran became an Islamic republic in 1979 after the ruling monarchy was overthrown and the shah was forced into exile. Conservative clerical forces established a theocratic system of government with ultimate political authority nominally vested in a learned religious scholar. Iranian-US relations have been strained since a group of Iranian students seized the US Embassy in Tehran on 4 November 1979 and held it until 20 January 1981. During 1980-88, Iran fought a bloody, indecisive war with Iraq that eventually expanded into the Persian Gulf and led to clashes between US Navy and Iranian military forces between 1987-1988. Iran has been designated a state sponsor of terrorism for its activities in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world and remains subject to US economic sanctions and export controls because of its continued involvement. Following the elections of a reformist president and Majlis in the late 1990s, attempts to foster political reform in response to popular dissatisfaction floundered as conservative politicians prevented reform measures from being enacted, increased repressive measures, and made electoral gains against reformers. Parliamentary elections in 2004 and the August 2005 inauguration of a conservative stalwart as president, completed the reconsolidation of conservative power in Iran’s government.
» Geography
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» Government
» Economy
» Communications
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» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Middle East, bordering the Gulf of Oman, the Persian Gulf, and the Caspian Sea, between Iraq and Pakistan

Geographic Coordinates
32 00 N, 53 00 E

Area
total: 1.648 million sq km; land: 1.636 million sq km; water: 12,000 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly larger than Alaska

Land Boundaries
total: 5,440 km; border countries: Afghanistan 936 km, Armenia 35 km, Azerbaijan-proper 432 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 179 km, Iraq 1,458 km, Pakistan 909 km, Turkey 499 km, Turkmenistan 992 km

Coastline
2,440 km; note – Iran also borders the Caspian Sea (740 km)

Maritime Claims
territorial sea: 12 nm; contiguous zone: 24 nm; exclusive economic zone: bilateral agreements or median lines in the Persian Gulf; continental shelf: natural prolongation

Climate
mostly arid or semiarid, subtropical along Caspian coast

Terrain
rugged, mountainous rim; high, central basin with deserts, mountains; small, discontinuous plains along both coasts

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Caspian Sea -28 m; highest point: Kuh-e Damavand 5,671 m

Natural Resources
petroleum, natural gas, coal, chromium, copper, iron ore, lead, manganese, zinc, sulfur

Land Use
arable land: 9.78%; permanent crops: 1.29%; other: 88.93% (2005)

Irrigated Land
75,620 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
periodic droughts, floods; dust storms, sandstorms; earthquakes

Environment – Current Issues
air pollution, especially in urban areas, from vehicle emissions, refinery operations, and industrial effluents; deforestation; overgrazing; desertification; oil pollution in the Persian Gulf; wetland losses from drought; soil degradation (salination); inadequate supplies of potable water; water pollution from raw sewage and industrial waste; urbanization

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Environmental Modification, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation

Notes
strategic location on the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz, which are vital maritime pathways for crude oil transport

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People

Population
68,688,433 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 26.1% (male 9,204,785/female 8,731,429); 15-64 years: 69% (male 24,133,919/female 23,245,255); 65 years and over: 4.9% (male 1,653,827/female 1,719,218) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 24.8 years; male: 24.6 years; female: 25 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
1.1% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
17 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
5.55 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-0.48 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.05 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 1.04 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.96 male(s)/female; total population: 1.04 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 40.3 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 40.49 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 40.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 70.26 years; male: 68.86 years; female: 71.74 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.8 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
31,000 (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
800 (2003 est.)

Nationality
noun: Iranian(s); adjective: Iranian

Ethnic Groups
Persian 51%, Azeri 24%, Gilaki and Mazandarani 8%, Kurd 7%, Arab 3%, Lur 2%, Baloch 2%, Turkmen 2%, other 1%

Religions
Shi’a Muslim 89%, Sunni Muslim 9%, Zoroastrian, Jewish, Christian, and Baha’i 2%

Languages
Persian and Persian dialects 58%, Turkic and Turkic dialects 26%, Kurdish 9%, Luri 2%, Balochi 1%, Arabic 1%, Turkish 1%, other 2%

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 79.4%; male: 85.6%; female: 73% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran; conventional short form: Iran; local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran; local short form: Iran; former: Persia

Government Type
theocratic republic

Capital
Tehran

Administrative Divisions
30 provinces (ostanha, singular – ostan); Ardabil, Azarbayjan-e Gharbi, Azarbayjan-e Sharqi, Bushehr, Chahar Mahall va Bakhtiari, Esfahan, Fars, Gilan, Golestan, Hamadan, Hormozgan, Ilam, Kerman, Kermanshah, Khorasan-e Janubi, Khorasan-e Razavi, Khorasan-e Shemali, Khuzestan, Kohgiluyeh va Buyer Ahmad, Kordestan, Lorestan, Markazi, Mazandaran, Qazvin, Qom, Semnan, Sistan va Baluchestan, Tehran, Yazd, Zanjan

Independence
1 April 1979 (Islamic Republic of Iran proclaimed)

National Holiday
Republic Day, 1 April (1979); note: additional holidays celebrated widely in Iran include Revolution Day, 11 February (1979); Noruz (New Year’s Day), 21 March; Constitutional Monarchy Day, 5 August (1925); and various Islamic observances that change in accordance with the lunar-based hejira calendar

Constitution
2-3 December 1979; revised 1989 to expand powers of the presidency and eliminate the prime ministership

Legal System
the Constitution codifies Islamic principles of government

Suffrage
15 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-KHAMENEI (since 4 June 1989); head of government: President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD (since 3 August 2005); First Vice President Parviz DAVUDI (since 11 September 2005); cabinet: Council of Ministers selected by the president with legislative approval; the Supreme Leader has some control over appointments to the more sensitive ministries; elections: leader of the Islamic Revolution appointed for life by the Assembly of Experts; president elected by popular vote for a four-year term; election last held 17 June 2005 with a two-candidate runoff on 24 June 2005 (next to be held NA 2009); election results: Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD elected president; percent of vote – Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD 62%, Ali Akbar Hashemi RAFSANJANI 36%; note – 2% of ballots spoiled

Legislative Branch
unicameral Islamic Consultative Assembly or Majles-e-Shura-ye-Eslami (290 seats – formerly 270 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections: last held 20 February 2004 with a runoff held 7 in May 2004 (next to be held in February 2008); election results: percent of vote – NA; seats by party – conservatives/Islamists 190, reformers 50, independents 43, religious minorities 5, and 2 seats unaccounted for

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court – above a special clerical court, a revolutionary court, and a special administrative court

Political Parties and Leaders
formal political parties are a relatively new phenomenon in Iran and most conservatives still prefer to work through political pressure groups rather than parties; a loose pro-reform coalition called the 2nd Khordad Front, which includes political parties as well as less formal pressure groups and organizations, achieved considerable success at elections to the sixth Majles in early 2000; groups in the coalition include: Islamic Iran Participation Front (IIPF), Executives of Construction Party (Kargozaran), Solidarity Party, Islamic Labor Party; Mardom Salari, Mojahedin of the Islamic Revolution Organization (MIRO), and Militant Clerics Society (Ruhaniyun); the coalition participated in the seventh Majles elections in early 2004; a new apparently conservative group, the Builders of Islamic Iran, took a leading position in the new Majles after winning a majority of the seats in February 2004

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
political pressure groups conduct most of Iran’s political activities; groups that generally support the Islamic Republic include Ansar-e Hizballah, Muslim Students Following the Line of the Imam, Tehran Militant Clergy Association (Ruhaniyat), Islamic Coalition Party (Motalefeh), and Islamic Engineers Society; active pro-reform student groups include the Organization for Strengthening Unity; opposition groups include Freedom Movement of Iran, the National Front, Marz-e Por Gohar, and various ethnic and Monarchist organizations; armed political groups that have been almost completely repressed by the government include Mujahidin-e Khalq Organization (MEK), People’s Fedayeen, Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan, and Komala

International Organization Participation
ABEDA, CP, ECO, FAO, G-15, G-24, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OPEC, PCA, SCO (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNMEE, UPU, WCL, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO (observer)

Diplomatic Representation in the US
none; note – Iran has an Interests Section in the Pakistani Embassy; address: Iranian Interests Section, Pakistani Embassy, 2209 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20007; telephone: [1] (202) 965-4990; FAX [1] (202) 965-1073

Diplomatic Representation from the US
none; note – protecting power in Iran is Switzerland

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of green (top), white, and red; the national emblem (a stylized representation of the word Allah in the shape of a tulip, a symbol of martyrdom) in red is centered in the white band; ALLAH AKBAR (God is Great) in white Arabic script is repeated 11 times along the bottom edge of the green band and 11 times along the top edge of the red band

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Economy

Overview
Iran’s economy is marked by a bloated, inefficient state sector, over reliance on the oil sector, and statist policies that create major distortions throughout. Most economic activity is controlled by the state. Private sector activity is typically small-scale – workshops, farming, and services. President Mahmud AHMADI-NEJAD has continued to follow the market reform plans of former President RAFSANJANI, with limited progress. Relatively high oil prices in recent years have enabled Iran to amass some $40 billion in foreign exchange reserves, but have not eased economic hardships such as high unemployment and inflation. The proportion of the economy devoted to the development of weapons of mass destruction remains a contentious issue with leading Western nations.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$552.8 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$178.1 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
4.8% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$8,100 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 11.8%; industry: 43.3%; services: 44.9% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
23.68 million; note: shortage of skilled labor (2005 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 30%, industry 25%, services 45% (2001 est.)

Unemployment Rate
11.2% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
40% (2002 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: NA%; highest 10%: NA%

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
43 (1998)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
16% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
30.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $48.82 billion; expenditures: $60.4 billion; including capital expenditures of $7.6 billion (2005 est.)

Public Debt
27.5% of GDP (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
wheat, rice, other grains, sugar beets, fruits, nuts, cotton; dairy products, wool; caviar

Industries
petroleum, petrochemicals, textiles, cement and other construction materials, food processing (particularly sugar refining and vegetable oil production), metal fabrication, armaments

Industrial Production Growth Rate
3% excluding oil (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
142.3 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
132.1 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Exports
840 million kWh (2003)

Electricity – Imports
600 million kWh (2003)

Oil – Production
3.979 million bbl/day (2005 est.)

Oil – Consumption
1.425 million bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
2.5 million bbl/day (2004 est.)

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Proved Reserves
133.3 billion bbl (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Production
79 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
79 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
3.4 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
4.92 billion cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Proved Reserves
26.62 trillion cu m (2005)

Current Account Balance
$8.179 billion (2005 est.)

Exports
$55.42 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
petroleum 80%, chemical and petrochemical products, fruits and nuts, carpets

Exports – Partners
Japan 18.4%, China 9.7%, Italy 6%, South Africa 5.8%, South Korea 5.4%, Taiwan 4.6%, Turkey 4.4%, Netherlands 4% (2004)

Imports
$42.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
industrial raw materials and intermediate goods, capital goods, foodstuffs and other consumer goods, technical services, military supplies

Imports – Partners
Germany 12.8%, France 8.3%, Italy 7.7%, China 7.2%, UAE 7.2%, South Korea 6.1%, Russia 5.4% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$40.06 billion (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$16.94 billion (2005 est.)

Economic Aid – Recipient
$408 million (2002 est.)

Currency (Code)
Iranian rial (IRR)

Exchange Rates
rials per US dollar – 8,964 (2005), 8,614 (2004), 8,193.9 (2003), 6,907 (2002), 1,753.6 (2001); note: Iran has been using a managed floating exchange rate regime since unifying multiple exchange rates in March 2002

Fiscal Year
21 March – 20 March

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
14,571,100 (2003)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
4.3 million (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: inadequate, but currently being modernized and expanded with the goal of not only improving the efficiency and increasing the volume of the urban service but also bringing telephone service to several thousand villages, not presently connected; domestic: as a result of heavy investing in the telephone system since 1994, the number of long-distance channels in the microwave radio relay trunk has grown substantially; many villages have been brought into the net; the number of main lines in the urban systems has approximately doubled; thousands of mobile cellular subscribers are being served; moreover, the technical level of the system has been raised by the installation of thousands of digital switches; international: country code – 98; HF radio and microwave radio relay to Turkey, Azerbaijan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Syria, Kuwait, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; submarine fiber-optic cable to UAE with access to Fiber-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG); Trans-Asia-Europe (TAE) fiber-optic line runs from Azerbaijan through the northern portion of Iran to Turkmenistan with expansion to Georgia and Azerbaijan; satellite earth stations – 9 Intelsat and 4 Inmarsat

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 72, FM 5, shortwave 5 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
28 (plus 450 low-power repeaters) (1997)

Internet Country Code
.ir

Internet Hosts
5,246 (2005)

Internet Users
7.5 million (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
310 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 129; over 3,047 m: 40; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 26; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 25; 914 to 1,523 m: 33; under 914 m: 5 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 181; over 3,047 m: 1; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 8; 914 to 1,523 m: 130; under 914 m: 42 (2005)

Heliports
15 (2005)

Pipelines
condensate/gas 212 km; gas 16,998 km; liquid petroleum gas 570 km; oil 8,256 km; refined products 7,808 km (2004)

Railways
total: 7,203 km; broad gauge: 94 km 1.676-m gauge; standard gauge: 7,109 km 1.435-m gauge (189 km electrified) (2004)

Roadways
total: 178,152 km; paved: 118,115 km (including 751 km of expressways); unpaved: 60,037 km (2002)

Waterways
850 km (850 km on Karun River; additional service on Lake Urmia) (2006)

Merchant Marine
total: 143 ships (1000 GRT or over) 5,129,056 GRT/8,908,336 DWT; by type: bulk carrier 38, cargo 48, chemical tanker 4, container 14, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 4, petroleum tanker 30, roll on/roll off 3; foreign-owned: 1 (UAE 1); registered in other countries: 19 (Bolivia 1, Cyprus 2, Isle of Man 1, Kuwait 1, Malta 9, Panama 4, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Assaluyeh, Bushehr

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Military

Military Branches
Islamic Republic of Iran Regular Forces (Artesh): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force (includes Air Defense); Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (Sepah-e Pasdaran-e Enqelab-e Eslami, IRGC): Ground Forces, Navy, Air Force, Qods Force (special operations), and Basij Force (Popular Mobilization Army); Law Enforcement Forces (2004)

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 years of age for compulsory military service; 16 years of age for volunteers; soldiers as young as 9 were recruited extensively during the Iran-Iraq War; conscript service obligation – 18 months (2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 18,319,545 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 15,665,725 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 862,056 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$4.3 billion (2003 est.)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
3.3% (2003 est.)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
Iran protests Afghanistan’s limiting flow of dammed tributaries to the Helmand River in periods of drought; Iraq’s lack of a maritime boundary with Iran prompts jurisdiction disputes beyond the mouth of the Shatt al Arab in the Persian Gulf; Iran and UAE dispute Tunb Islands and Abu Musa Island, which are occupied by Iran; Iran stands alone among littoral states in insisting upon a division of the Caspian Sea into five equal sectors

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 952,802 (Afghanistan) 93,173 (Iraq) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
despite substantial interdiction efforts, Iran remains a key transshipment point for Southwest Asian heroin to Europe; domestic narcotics consumption remains a persistent problem and according to official Iranian statistics there are at least 2 million drug users in the country; lacks anti-money-laundering laws

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Introduction

Background
The region of present-day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. New elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his National Movement Party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by two civil conflicts in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. These two territories remain outside the control of the central government and are ruled by de facto, unrecognized governments, supported by Russia. Russian-led peacekeeping operations continue in both regions. The Georgian Government put forward a new peace initiative for the peaceful resolution of the status of South Ossetia in 2005
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia

Geographic Coordinates
42 00 N, 43 30 E

Area
total: 69,700 sq km; land: 69,700 sq km; water: 0 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land Boundaries
total: 1,461 km; border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km

Coastline
310 km

Maritime Claims
NA

Climate
warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

Terrain
largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhet’is Dablobi (Kolkhida Lowland) opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Black Sea 0 m; highest point: Mt’a Shkhara 5,201 m

Natural Resources
forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth

Land Use
arable land: 11.51%; permanent crops: 3.79%; other: 84.7% (2005)

Irrigated Land
4,700 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
earthquakes

Environment – Current Issues
air pollution, particularly in Rust’avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Notes
strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them

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People

Population
4,661,473 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 17.3% (male 428,056/female 380,193); 15-64 years: 66.2% (male 1,482,908/female 1,602,064); 65 years and over: 16.5% (male 308,905/female 459,347) (2006 est.)

Median Age
total: 37.7 years; male: 35.3 years; female: 40.1 years (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
-0.34% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
10.41 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
9.23 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-4.54 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.15 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.13 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female; total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 17.97 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 20.06 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 15.56 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 76.09 years; male: 72.8 years; female: 79.87 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.42 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
less than 0.1% (2001 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
3,000 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 200 (2003 est.)

Nationality
noun: Georgian(s); adjective: Georgian

Ethnic Groups
Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)

Religions
Orthodox Christian 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)

Languages
Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%; note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 100%; male: 100%; female: 100% (2004 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: none; conventional short form: Georgia; local long form: none; local short form: Sak’art’velo; former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type
republic

Capital
T’bilisi

Administrative Divisions
9 regions (mkharebi, singular – mkhare), 9 cities (k’alak’ebi, singular – k’alak’i), and 2 autonomous republics (avtomnoy respubliki, singular – avtom respublika): regions: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli: cities: Chiat’ura, Gori, K’ut’aisi, P’ot’i, Rust’avi, T’bilisi, Tqibuli, Tsqaltubo, Zugdidi: autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap’khazet’is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat’umi); note: the administrative centers of the two autonomous republics are shown in

Independence
9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note – 26 May 1918 is the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 is the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution
adopted 24 August 1995

Legal System
based on civil law system; accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); note – the president is both the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security (includes interior) and defense; head of government: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); Prime Minister Zurab NOGHAIDELI (since 17 February 2005); note – the president is the chief of state and head of government for the power ministries: state security (includes interior) and defense; the prime minister is head of the remaining ministries of government; cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers; elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 4 January 2004 (next to be held in 2009); election results: Mikheil SAAKASHVILI elected president; percent of vote – Mikheil SAAKASHVILI 96.3%, Temur SHASHIASHVILI 1.9%

Legislative Branch
unicameral Supreme Council (commonly referred to as Parliament) or Umaghiesi Sabcho (235 seats – 150 elected by party lists); members are elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms); elections: last held 28 March 2004 (next to be held spring 2008); election results: percent of vote by party – National Movement-Democratic Front 67.6%, Rightist Opposition 7.6%, all other parties received less than 7% each; seats by party – National Movement-Democratic Front 135, Rightist Opposition 15

Judicial Branch
Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president’s or chairman of the Supreme Court’s recommendation); Constitutional Court; first and second instance courts

Political Parties and Leaders
Burjanadze-Democrats [Nino BURJANADZE]; Georgian People’s Front [Nodar NATADZE]; Georgian United Communist Party or UCPG [Panteleimon GIORGADZE]; Greens [Giorgi GACHECHILADZE]; Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE]; Labor Party [Shalva NATELASHVILI]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Bachuki KARDAVA]; National Movement Democratic Front [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI] bloc composed of National Movement and Burjanadze-Democrats; National Movement [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI]; New Right [David GAMKRELIDZE]; Republican Party [David USUPASHVILI]; Rightist Opposition [David GAMKRELIDZE] bloc composed of Industrialists and New Right Party; Socialist Party or SPG [Irakli MINDELI]; Traditionalists [Akaki ASATIANI]; Union of National Forces-Conservatives [Koba DAVITASHVILI and Zviad DZIDZIGURI]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Georgian independent deputies from Abkhaz government in exile; separatists in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; supporters of former President Zviad GAMSAKHURDYA ousted in 1991

International Organization Participation
ACCT (observer), BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICCt, ICFTU, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ITU, MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Vasil SIKHARULIDZE; chancery: Suite 602, 1101 15th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005; telephone: [1] (202) 387-2390; FAX: [1] (202) 393-4537

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador John F. TEFFT; embassy: 11 George Balanchine St., T’bilisi 0131; mailing address: 7060 Tbilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060; telephone: [995] (32) 27-70-00; FAX: [995] (32) 53-23-10

Flag Description
white rectangle, in its central portion a red cross connecting all four sides of the flag; in each of the four corners is a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross; the five-cross flag appears to date back to the 14th century

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Economy

Overview
Georgia’s main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals. The country imports the bulk of its energy needs, including natural gas and oil products. It has sizeable but underdeveloped hydropower capacity. Despite the severe damage the economy has suffered due to civil strife, Georgia, with the help of the IMF and World Bank, has made substantial economic gains since 2000, achieving positive GDP growth and curtailing inflation. Georgia had suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, the new government is making progress and has reformed the tax code, improved tax administration, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on corruption. In addition, the reinvigorated privatization process has met with success, supplementing government expenditures on infrastructure, defense, and poverty reduction. Despite customs and financial (tax) enforcement improvements, smuggling is a drain on the economy. Georgia also suffers from energy shortages due to aging and badly maintained infrastructure, as well as poor management. Due to concerted reform efforts, collection rates have improved considerably to roughly 60%, both in T’bilisi and throughout the regions. Continued reform in the management of state-owned power entities is essential to successful privatization and onward sustainability in this sector. The country is pinning its hopes for long-term growth on its role as a transit state for pipelines and trade. The construction on the Baku-T’bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Baku-T’bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline have brought much-needed investment and job opportunities. Nevertheless, high energy prices in 2006 will compound the pressure on the country’s inefficient energy sector. Restructuring the sector and finding energy supply alternatives to Russia remain major challenges.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$15.55 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$6.4 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
7% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$3,300 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 16%; industry: 26.8%; services: 57.2% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
2.04 million (2004 est.)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 40%, industry 20%, services 40% (1999 est.)

Unemployment Rate
12.6% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
54% (2001 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 2.3%; highest 10%: 27.9% (1996)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
38 (2003)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
8% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
26.6% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $1.43 billion; expenditures: $1.56 billion; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock

Industries
steel, aircraft, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese and copper), chemicals, wood products, wine

Industrial Production Growth Rate
3% (2000)

Electricity – Production
8.634 billion kWh (2003)

Electricity – Consumption
9.8 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity – Exports
71 million kWh (2004)

Electricity – Imports
1.2 billion kWh (2004)

Oil – Production
1,982 bbl/day (2003)

Oil – Consumption
13,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Natural Gas – Production
20 million cu m (2003 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
1.5 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
NA cu m

Natural Gas – Imports
1.5 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Current Account Balance
$-439.3 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$1.4 billion (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
scrap metal, machinery, chemicals; fuel reexports; citrus fruits, tea, wine

Exports – Partners
Turkey 18.3%, Turkmenistan 17.8%, Russia 16.2%, Armenia 8.4%, UK 4.9% (2004)

Imports
$2.5 billion (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
fuels, machinery and parts, transport equipment, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals

Imports – Partners
Russia 14%, Turkey 10.9%, UK 9.3%, Azerbaijan 8.5%, Germany 8.2%, Ukraine 7.7%, US 6% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$350.1 million (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$2.04 billion (2004)

Economic Aid – Recipient
ODA, $150 million (2000 est.)

Currency (Code)
lari (GEL)

Exchange Rates
ari per US dollar – 1.8127 (2005), 1.9167 (2004), 2.1457 (2003), 2.1957 (2002), 2.073 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
683,200 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
840,600 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: NA; domestic: local – T’bilisi and K’ut’aisi have cellular telephone networks; urban telephone density is about 20 per 100 people; rural telephone density is about 4 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T’bilisi and K’ut’aisi; nationwide pager service is available; international: country code – 995; Georgia and Russia are working on a fiber-optic line between P’ot’i and Sochi (Russia); present international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
12 (plus repeaters) (1998)

Internet Country Code
.ge

Internet Hosts
8,942 (2005)

Internet Users
175,600 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
25 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 19; over 3,047 m: 1; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 5; 914 to 1,523 m: 4; under 914 m: 2 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 6; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4; 914 to 1,523 m: 1; under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Heliports
3 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 1,697 km; oil 1,027 km; refined products 232 km (2004)

Railways
total: 1,612 km (1,612 km electrified); broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 electrified); narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 electrified) (2004)

Roadways
total: 20,247 km; paved: 7,973 km; unpaved: 12,274 km (2003)

Merchant Marine
total: 192 ships (1000 GRT or over) 936,396 GRT/1,373,814 DWT; by type: barge carrier 1, bulk carrier 23, cargo 150, container 4, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 4, refrigerated cargo 3, roll on/roll off 1, specialized tanker 1; foreign-owned: 157 (Albania 1, Azerbaijan 2, Belgium 1, Cyprus 1, Ecuador 1, Egypt 6, Estonia 1, Germany 1, Greece 5, Indonesia 1, South Korea 1, Lebanon 5, Monaco 12, Romania 8, Russia 20, Slovenia 1, Syria 37, Turkey 24, Ukraine 23, UAE 1, UK 5) (2005)

Ports and Terminals
Bat’umi, P’ot’i

Notes
transportation network is in poor condition resulting from ethnic conflict, criminal activities, and fuel shortages; network lacks maintenance and repair

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Military

Military Branches
Ground Forces (includes National Guard), Air and Air Defense Forces, Navy (2006)

Military Service Age and Obligation
18 to 34 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation – 18 months (2005)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 1,038,736 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 827,281 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 38,857 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$23 million (FY00)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
0.59% (FY00)

Notes
a CIS peacekeeping force of Russian troops is deployed in the Abkhazia region of Georgia together with a UN military observer group; a Russian peacekeeping battalion is deployed in South Ossetia

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
Russia and Georgia agree on delimiting 80% of their common border, leaving certain small, strategic segments and the maritime boundary unresolved; OSCE observers monitor volatile areas such as the Pankisi Gorge in the Akhmeti region and the Argun Gorge in Abkhazia; UN Observer Mission in Georgia has maintained a peacekeeping force in Georgia since 1993; Meshkheti Turks scattered throughout the former Soviet Union seek to return to Georgia; boundary with Armenia remains undemarcated; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian government; Azerbaijan and Georgia continue to discuss the alignment of their boundary at certain crossing areas

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
IDPs: 260,000 (displaced from Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia

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Introduction

Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920. Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Muslim Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a cease-fire took hold, Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also a significant portion of Azerbaijan proper. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution. Turkey imposed an economic blockade on Armenia and closed the common border because of the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas.
» Geography
» People
» Government
» Economy
» Communications
» Transportation
» Military
» Transnational Issues

Geography

Location
Southwestern Asia, east of Turkey

Geographic Coordinates
40 00 N, 45 00 E

Area
total: 29,800 sq km; land: 28,400 sq km; water: 1,400 sq km

Area Comparative
slightly smaller than Maryland

Land Boundaries
total: 1,254 km; border countries: Azerbaijan-proper 566 km, Azerbaijan-Naxcivan exclave 221 km, Georgia 164 km, Iran 35 km, Turkey 268 km

Coastline
0 km (landlocked)

Maritime Claims
none (landlocked)

Climate
highland continental, hot summers, cold winters

Terrain
Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley

Elevation Extremes
lowest point: Debed River 400 m; highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat’ 4,090 m

Natural Resources
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, alumina

Land Use
arable land: 16.78%; permanent crops: 2.01%; other: 81.21% (2005)

Irrigated Land
2,870 sq km (1998 est.)

Natural Hazards
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts

Environment – Current Issues
soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone

Environment – International Agreements
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands; signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants

Notes
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range

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People

Population
2,976,372 (July 2006 est.)

Age Structure
0-14 years: 20.5% (male 322,189/female 286,944); 15-64 years: 68.4% (male 949,975/female 1,085,484); 65 years and over: 11.1% (male 133,411/female 198,369) (2006 est.)

Median Age
0-14 years: 20.5% (male 322,189/female 286,944); 15-64 years: 68.4% (male 949,975/female 1,085,484); 65 years and over: 11.1% (male 133,411/female 198,369) (2006 est.)

Population Growth Rate
-0.19% (2006 est.)

Birth Rate
12.07 births/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Death Rate
8.23 deaths/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Net Migration Rate
-5.72 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2006 est.)

Sex Ratio
at birth: 1.17 male(s)/female; under 15 years: 1.12 male(s)/female; 15-64 years: 0.88 male(s)/female; 65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female; total population: 0.9 male(s)/female (2006 est.)

Infant Mortality Rate
total: 22.47 deaths/1,000 live births; male: 27.59 deaths/1,000 live births; female: 16.51 deaths/1,000 live births (2006 est.)

Life Expectancy at Birth
total population: 71.84 years; male: 68.25 years; female: 76.02 years (2006 est.)

Total Fertility Rate
1.33 children born/woman (2006 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Adult Prevalence Rate
0.1% (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – People Living with HIV/AIDS
2,600 (2003 est.)

HIV/AIDS – Deaths
less than 200 (2003 est.)

Nationality
noun: Armenian(s); adjective: Armenian

Ethnic Groups
Armenian 97.9%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.3%, Russian 0.5%, other 0.3% (2001 census)

Religions
Armenian Apostolic 94.7%, other Christian 4%, Yezidi (monotheist with elements of nature worship) 1.3%

Languages
Armenian 97.7%, Yezidi 1%, Russian 0.9%, other 0.4% (2001 census)

Literacy
definition: age 15 and over can read and write; total population: 98.6%; male: 99.4%; female: 98% (2003 est.)

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Government

Country Name
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia; conventional short form: Armenia; local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut’yun; local short form: Hayastan; former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic; Armenian Republic

Government Type
republic

Capital
Yerevan

Administrative Divisions
11 provinces (marzer, singular – marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark’unik’, Kotayk’, Lorri, Shirak, Syunik’, Tavush, Vayots’ Dzor, Yerevan

Independence
21 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National Holiday
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)

Constitution
adopted by nationwide referendum 5 July 1995; amendments adopted through a nationwide referendum 27 November 2005

Legal System
based on civil law system

Suffrage
18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch
chief of state: President Robert KOCHARIAN (since 30 March 1998); head of government: Prime Minister Andranik MARGARYAN (since 12 May 2000); cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister; elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term; election last held 19 February and 5 March 2003 (next to be held in 2008); prime minister appointed by the president and confirmed with the majority support of the National Assembly; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Assembly refuses to accept their program; election results: Robert KOCHARIAN reelected president; percent of vote – Robert KOCHARIAN 67.5%, Stepan DEMIRCHYAN 32.5%

Legislative Branch
unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (131 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms; 90 members elected by party list, 41 by direct vote); elections: last held 25 May 2003 (next to be held in the spring of 2007); election results: percent of vote by party – Republican Party 23.5%, Justice Bloc 13.6%, Rule of Law 12.3%, ARF (Dashnak) 11.4%, National Unity Party 8.8%, United Labor Party 5.7%; seats by faction – Republican Party 39, Rule of Law 20, Justice Bloc 14, ARF (Dashnak) 11, National Unity 7, United Labor 6, People’s Deputy Group 16, independent (not in faction or group) 18; note – as of 10 March 2006; voting blocs in the legislature are more properly termed factions and can be composed of members of several parties; seats by faction change frequently as deputies switch parties or announce themselves independent

Judicial Branch
Constitutional Court; Court of Cassation (Appeals Court)

Political Parties and Leaders
Agro-Industrial Party [Vladimir BADALYAN]; Armenia Party [Myasnik MALKHASYAN]; Armenian National Movement or ANM [Alex ARZUMANYAN, chairman]; Armenian Ramkavar Liberal Party or HRAK [Harutyun MIRZAKHANYAN, chairman]; Armenian Revolutionary Federation (“Dashnak” Party) or ARF [Levon MKRTCHYAN]; Democratic Party [Aram SARKISYAN]; Justice Bloc (comprised of the Democratic Party, National Democratic Party, National Democratic Union, the People’s Party, and the Republic Party) [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; National Democratic Party [Shavarsh KOCHARIAN]; National Democratic Union or NDU [Vazgen MANUKIAN]; National Revival Party [Albert BAZEYAN]; National Unity Party [Artashes GEGHAMYAN, chairman]; People’s Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHYAN]; Republic Party [Aram SARKISYAN, chairman]; Republican Party or RPA [Andranik MARGARYAN]; Rule of Law Party [Samvel BALASANYAN]; Union of Constitutional Rights [Hrant KHACHATURYAN]; United Labor Party [Gurgen ARSENYAN]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]

International Organization Participation
ACCT (observer), AsDB, BSEC, CE, CIS, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt (signatory), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US
chief of mission: Ambassador Tatoul MARKARIAN; chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008; telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976; FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982; consulate(s) general: Los Angeles

Diplomatic Representation from the US
chief of mission: Ambassador John M. EVANS; embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 375082; mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020; telephone: [374](10) 464-700; FAX: [374](10) 464-742

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange

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Economy

Overview
Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia had developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics in exchange for raw materials and energy. Since the implosion of the USSR in December 1991, Armenia has switched to small-scale agriculture away from the large agroindustrial complexes of the Soviet era. The agricultural sector has long-term needs for more investment and updated technology. The privatization of industry has been at a slower pace, but has been given renewed emphasis by the current administration. Armenia is a food importer, and its mineral deposits (copper, gold, bauxite) are small. The ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the ethnic Armenian-dominated region of Nagorno-Karabakh and the breakup of the centrally directed economic system of the former Soviet Union contributed to a severe economic decline in the early 1990s. By 1994, however, the Armenian Government had launched an ambitious IMF-sponsored economic liberalization program that resulted in positive growth rates in 1995-2005. Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. Armenia also has managed to slash inflation, stabilize its currency, and privatize most small- and medium-sized enterprises. Armenia’s unemployment rate, however, remains high, despite strong economic growth. The chronic energy shortages Armenia suffered in the early and mid-1990s have been offset by the energy supplied by one of its nuclear power plants at Metsamor. Armenia is now a net energy exporter, although it does not have sufficient generating capacity to replace Metsamor, which is under international pressure to close. The electricity distribution system was privatized in 2002. Armenia’s severe trade imbalance has been offset somewhat by international aid, remittances from Armenians working abroad, and foreign direct investment. Economic ties with Russia remain close, especially in the energy sector. The government made some improvements in tax and customs administration in 2005, but anti-corruption measures will be more difficult to implement. Investment in the construction and industrial sectors is expected to continue in 2006 and will help to ensure annual average real GDP growth of about 13.9%.

GDP (purchasing power parity)
$15.7 billion (2005 est.)

GDP (official exchange rate)
$4.868 billion (2005 est.)

GDP – real growth rate
13.9% (2005 est.)

GDP – per capita (PPP)
$5,300 (2005 est.)

GDP – composition by sector
agriculture: 19.8%; industry: 41%; services: 39.2% (2005 est.)

Labor Force
1.2 million (2005)

Labor Force – By Occupation
agriculture 45%, industry 25%, services 30% (2002 est.)

Unemployment Rate
31.6% (2004 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line
43% (2003 est.)

Household Income or Consumption by Percentage Share
lowest 10%: 1.6%; highest 10%: 41.3% (2004)

Distribution of Family Income – Gini Index
41.3 (2004)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices)
-0.2% (2005 est.)

Investment (gross fixed)
25% of GDP (2005 est.)

Budget
revenues: $786.1 million; expenditures: $930.7 million; including capital expenditures of $NA (2005 est.)

Agriculture – Products
fruit (especially grapes), vegetables; livestock

Industries
diamond-processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging-pressing machines, electric motors, tires, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry manufacturing, software development, food processing, brandy

Industrial Production Growth Rate
7.5% (2005 est.)

Electricity – Production
6.317 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity – Consumption
4.374 billion kWh (2005)

Electricity – Exports
650 million kWh; note – exports an unknown quantity to Georgia; includes exports to Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan (2003)

Electricity – Imports
463 million kWh; note – imports an unknown quantity from Iran (2003)

Oil – Production
0 bbl/day (2005)

Oil – Consumption
40,000 bbl/day (2003 est.)

Oil – Exports
NA bbl/day

Oil – Imports
NA bbl/day

Natural Gas – Production
0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Consumption
1.685 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Exports
0 cu m (2005 est.)

Natural Gas – Imports
1.685 billion cu m (2005 est.)

Current Account Balance
$-237.7 million (2005 est.)

Exports
$800 million f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Exports – Commodities
diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, energy

Exports – Partners
Belgium 18%, Israel 15.3%, Germany 13.3%, Russia 12.5%, US 8.1%, Netherlands 7.2%, Iran 5.5%, Georgia 4.3%, UAE 4% (2004)

Imports
$1.5 billion f.o.b. (2005 est.)

Imports – Commodities
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds

Imports – Partners
Russia 11.3%, Belgium 10.1%, Israel 8.4%, US 7.6%, Iran 7.1%, UAE 6.1%, Ukraine 5.9%, Italy 5.5%, Germany 5.2%, Georgia 4.6%, France 4.5% (2004)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold
$625.6 million (2005 est.)

Debt – External
$1.819 billion (20 September 2005)

Economic Aid – Recipient
ODA, $254 million (2004)

Currency (Code)
dram (AMD)

Exchange Rates
drams per US dollar – 457.69 (2005), 533.45 (2004), 578.76 (2003), 573.35 (2002), 555.08 (2001)

Fiscal Year
calendar year

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Communications

Telephones – Main Lines in Use
582,500 (2004)

Telephones – Mobile Cellular
203,300 (2004)

Telephone System
general assessment: system inadequate; now 90% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; domestic: the majority of subscribers and the most modern equipment are in Yerevan (this includes paging and mobile cellular service); international: country code – 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States and through the Moscow international switch and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations – 3 (2005)

Radio Broadcast Stations
AM 9, FM 6, shortwave 1 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations
3 (plus an unknown number of repeaters) (1998)

Internet Country Code
.am

Internet Hosts
8,852 (2005)

Internet Users
150,000 (2005)

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Transportation

Airports
16 (2005)

Airports – With Paved Runways
total: 11; over 3,047 m: 2; 2,438 to 3,047 m: 2; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4; 914 to 1,523 m: 3 (2005)

Airports – With Unpaved Runways
total: 5; 1,524 to 2,437 m: 2; 914 to 1,523 m: 2; under 914 m: 1 (2005)

Pipelines
gas 1,871 km (2004)

Railways
total: 845 km; broad gauge: 845 km 1.520-m gauge (828 km electrified); note: some lines are out of service (2004)

Roadways
total: 7,633 km; paved: 7,633 km (includes 1,561 km of expressways) (2003)

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Military

Military Branches
Army, Air Force, Air Defense Force

Military Service Age and Obligation
18-27 years of age for compulsory military service, conscript service obligation – 12 months; 18 years of age for voluntary military service (May 2004)

Manpower Available for Military Service
males age 18-49: 722,836 (2005 est.)

Manpower Fit for Military Service
males age 18-49: 551,938 (2005 est.)

Manpower Reaching Military Service Age Annually
males: 31,774 (2005 est.)

Military Expenditures – Dollar Figure
$135 million (FY01)

Military Expenditures – Percent of GDP
6.5% (FY01)

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Transnational Issues

Disputes – International
Armenia supports ethnic Armenian secessionists in Nagorno-Karabakh and since the early 1990s, has militarily occupied 16% of Azerbaijan – Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) continues to mediate dispute; over 800,000 mostly ethnic Azerbaijanis were driven from the occupied lands and Armenia; about 230,000 ethnic Armenians were driven from their homes in Azerbaijan into Armenia; Azerbaijan seeks transit route through Armenia to connect to Naxcivan exclave; border with Turkey remains closed over Nagorno-Karabakh dispute; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy; tens of thousands of Armenians emigrate, primarily to Russia, to seek employment

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons
refugees (country of origin): 235,101 (Azerbaijan); IDPs: 50,000 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2005)

Illicit Drugs
illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs – mostly opium and hashish – moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe

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