CSTO Peacekeepers to Leave Kazakhstan at First Request, Once Situation Stabilizes, Ministry Says
© REUTERS / COLLECTIVE SECURITY TREATY ORGANA military aircraft carrying Russian servicemen takes off from an airfield on its way to Kazakhstan, outside Moscow, Russia January 6, 2022, in this still image taken from video. Russian paratroopers have been deployed to Kazakhstan as part of a peacekeeping force that includes troops from four other former Soviet republics.
NUR-SULTAN (Sputnik) - The peacekeeping contingent of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) sent to Kazakhstan to help protect vital facilities amid mass riots will leave the country once the situation stabilizes, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry informs.
"The CSTO peacekeeping forces will stay in Kazakhstan temporarily and will leave the country after the situation stabilizes, at the first request of the Kazakh side," the ministry said in a statement published on Telegram.
On Sunday, the head of the CSTO mission in Kazakhstan, Col. Gen. Andrey Serdyukov said that the peacekeeping forces of the organization had completed relocation to Kazakhstan.
According to Serdyukov, CSTO peacekeepers are now helping protect critically important facilities in the city of Almaty and nearby regions.
A wave of protests swept across Kazakhstan earlier this month, following a sharp rise in gas prices. Despite the government's attempts to quell the discontent and promises to bring the prices down, violence erupted in Kazakhstan and there have been wide-spread clashes with law enforcement officers in several regions.
The government declared a state of emergency until January 19. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev asked for CSTO assistance in resolving the issue and peacekeepers were sent into Kazakhstan. A counter-terrorism operation continues. Tokayev said on Friday that the government had reached a compromise with peaceful protesters on urgent social and economic issues and that he was going to announce specific measures on Tuesday.