Monday, November 28, 2022

Massive Influx of Russians into Kazakhstan has Not Boosted Growth Much but has Sparked Inflation

Paul Goble

Staunton, Nov. 26 – In September and October, some 167,000 Russians fleeing mobilization moved to Kazakhstan, an exodus that did not promote a significant increase in economic growth but has sparked inflation, which is now approaching 20 percent, Kazakh officials say.

The  country’s GDP is up only 2.5 percent, far less than the double digit figures the Russian influx have produced in Armenia and Georgia, but inflation is up far more. The other two countries have smaller service oriented economies, and Kazakhstan is both larger and more industrial (; cf.

            Most Russians view Kazakhstan as a transit country rather than as their final destination. One consequence of that is the explosive growth in airline routes between Kazakhstan, on the one hand, and the Middle East and Europe, on the other. And another is that housing prices for short-term non-residents have skyrocketed.

            But as of now, neither Kazakh officials nor ordinary Kazakhs appear much disturbed by this latest Russian influx. Astana has repeatedly said it isn’t worried and instead is promoting the relocation of industry from Russia that may provide jobs for the Russians; and ordinary Kazakhs have said they welcome the more polite attitude of the recent Russian arrivals.

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