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Kazakhstan

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Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan (full name, Republic of Kazakhstan) covers an area of approximately 2.7 million sq km. Its terrain consists of vast flat steppe from the Volga in the west to the Altai Mountains in the east and from the western Siberian plains in the north to the Central Asian deserts in the south. Kazakhstan borders China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and is completely landlocked (though it does border the Aral Sea and the Caspian Sea). The country is divided into 14 provinces (Almaty Oblysy, Aqmola Oblysy, Aqtobe Oblysy, Atyrau Oblysy, Batys Qazaqstan Oblysy, Mangghystau Oblysy, Ongtustik Qazaqstan Oblysy, Pavlodar Oblysy, Qaraghandy Oblysy, Qostanay Oblysy, Qyzylorda Oblysy, Shyghys Qazaqstan Oblysy, Soltustik Qazaqstan Oblysy and Zhambyl Oblysy) and three cities (Almaty Qalasy, Astana Qalasy and Bayqongyr Qalasy). Astana is the capital, with a time difference of 6 hours ahead of GMT. The currency is the Kazakh tenge, and exports include oil, uranium, ferrous and nonferrous metals, machinery, chemicals, grain, wool, meat and coal. The population of approximately 15,000,000 people comprises an ethnic makeup that is 53.4% Kazakh and 30% Russian. The primary languages are Kazakh and Russian, and the predominant religions are Islam and Christianity.