Kazakh official: CSTO forces will stay for a short period

“Peacekeeping troops comprising of multinational forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) member states were deployed and will remain for a short period of time until the stabilization of the situation in Kazakhstan,” said Erzhan Kazykhan, Kazakh President’s Special Representative for International Cooperation.

The legal framework for deploying collective peacekeeping forces is based on Articles 2 and 4 of the Treaty on Collective Security, the Agreement on Peacekeeping Activities, and military assistance requested by Kazakhstan.

The peacekeeping troops are not involved in eliminating militant groups and terrorists, and their main tasks are the protection of strategic sites and administrative buildings, Mr.Kazykhan explained.

Armed attacks vs. peaceful protests 
President’s Representative urged the media to distinguish a peaceful demonstration from armed attacks. “The story that run this week in international media leaves the readers with falls impressions that Kazakhstan government has been targeting peaceful protestors. Our security forces have been engaging violent mobs who were committing brazen acts of terror,” Kazykhan said.

Addressing public grievance over the inflation and overall social and economic problems, the President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has decided to regulate petroleum prices and essential products and services.

“Regretfully, peaceful demonstrations in Almaty and some other regions were hijacked by perpetrators and both local and foreign terrorist groups. The escalation triggering riots and attacks against administrative buildings, military bases, and civil facilities, seizure of the Almaty airport, local and foreign airplanes. This shows the high level of preparedness and coordination of the perpetrators. No protest or demonstration in a democratic society can justify the attacks and killings of law enforcement officers,” he added.

According to the latest data, 18 law enforcement officers were killed by extremists and terrorists. More than 700 police officers, military personnel, and 1,000 civilians were injured and hospitalized.

“Those, who name the extremists to be part of peaceful protestors, may they know that two of young soldiers were beheaded staying on their knees. They also attacked first responders, including medical emergency teams and firefighters”. 

The President’s envoy stressed that “Kazakhstan has repeatedly expressed its commitment to the rule of law. All actions taken or supported are and will be in accordance with our Constitution, our laws, and our international commitments.”

The full statement is available on the following video link and the text below-