The United States has questioned Russia’s decision to deploy troops to deal with the ongoing violence in Kazakhstan. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken raised the question at a news conference at the State Department on Friday. He said the Kazakh authorities could have handled the situation on their own. News from the BBC
Recently, Kazakh President Kasim Jomart Tokayev sought the cooperation of the Russian military in dealing with the ongoing protests against rising fuel prices. About two and a half thousand Russian-led troops have already arrived in Kazakhstan. They also helped the Kazakh army recapture Almaty airport from protesters yesterday. Russian authorities say they have temporarily deployed troops under the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), a military alliance between the five former Soviet republics and Russia.
However, the United States is skeptical about whether Russian troops will leave Kazakhstan at all. “Recent history has shown that once Russian troops are in place, it is sometimes difficult to get them out,” Anthony Blinken told a regular State Department news conference yesterday.
Blinken added that the Kazakh government had the ability to handle the protests properly. And if that was done, the rights of the protesters would be respected as well as law and order would be maintained. Even then, Blinken questioned why Kazakhstan sought the cooperation of Russian troops. “It’s not clear why they need the cooperation of other countries,” he said. We are trying to find out more. ”
LPG is widely used in cars in Kazakhstan. LPG prices more than doubled in the country last Saturday. The next day, Sunday (January 2nd), protests broke out in the oil-rich western province of Manjistau. The protests later spread to other parts of the country, including Almaty. Clashes between security forces and protesters have resulted in casualties. According to government figures, 28 protesters and 18 members of the security forces have been killed so far.
In a televised speech yesterday, the Kazakh president ordered security forces to open fire without warning. Qasim Jomart said peacekeepers had been sent from Russia and neighboring countries at his request. They will be temporarily stationed in Kazakhstan to ensure security. The Russian-led CSTO has about 2,500 troops. Qasim thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for sending troops.