One step west and one step east

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Conversation in Kazkakhstan in recent months has centred on one topic: oil. What appears to be a major new find has excited locals, multinationals operating in the energy sector and buyers of an oversubscribed sovereign Eurobond. The prospect of this impoverished country, where the average wage is barely $100 a month, becoming the next Kuwait has also enabled the nation teasingly to play prospective bride to both the West and Russia. Ted Kim reports