Kazakhstan zones

Gwillim Law RLAW at nc.rr.com
Tue Jun 28 16:30:37 UTC 2005

The time zones of Kazakhstan have changed recently.  I sent an e-mail to the
tz list on May 20, summarizing the evidence then available, which was
contradictory.  I received an e-mail today from an informant in Astana,
Branislav Kojic, explaining the current time zone situation in Kazakhstan.
If he is right, Asia/Aqtau and Asia/Oral should be on UTC+5.  The tz
database still shows them in UTC+4.  He has given me permission to quote
him.  He writes:

"I read your page on the time zones in Kazakhstan, and
also your invitation to suggest improvements. I have
been living in Kazakhstan for over a year now, and I
can sympathize with the feeling of confusion that
Kazakhstani government can cause among the members of
diplomatic community and other foreigners with their
lousily translated and contradicting information.
Rather than losing myself in analyzing the meaning of
their decisions on changes in the DST policy and
related issues, I wish to inform you of the situation
as it actually is now, as advised by my local
colleagues and friends.

"In reality, what happened was that the former
Kazakhstan Eastern time zone was "blended" with the
Central zone. Therefore, Kazakhstan now has two time
zones, and difference between them is one hour. The
zone closer to UTC is the former Western zone
(probably still called the same), encompassing four
provinces in the west: Aqtöbe, Atyrau, Mangghystau,
and West Kazakhstan. The other zone encompasses
everything else. This is pretty much how you describe
it in the end, except that the difference is one hour,
not two.

"Regarding the actual time zones (in reference with
UTC), I can tell you that we are now 3 and 4 hours
ahead of Central European Time (CET) in our two time
zones in Kazakhstan respectively. I am making that
reference because CET is my native time zone, here in
Astana I am now 4 hours ahead of my HQ in Geneva,
Switzerland, and my home in Belgrade,
Serbia&Montenegro. If the government here does not
make more changes, we will fall back to 4 and 5 hours
ahead of CET respectively when the DST switches in
Europe (in October, if I'm not mistaking). I guess
that would make Kazakhstan time zones de jure UTC+5
and UTC+6 respectively.

"Hope I got all this right, and hope it was of some

"Best regards
Astana, Kazakhstan"

--    Gwillim Law

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