Kazakh President: Withdrawal of CSTO Peacekeeping Forces to Begin on Thursday
10:58 GMT 12.01.2022 (Updated: 12:02 GMT 12.01.2022)
© Photo : Russian Defence Ministry Russian military vehicles drives upon arrival at Almaty airport, as part of a peacekeeping mission of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation, in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in this still image from video released by Russia's Defence Ministry January 9, 2022
© Photo : Russian Defence Ministry
The CSTO forces were deployed to Kazakhstan amid mass protests that turned violent in the country in early January following a twofold rise in fuel prices.
The withdrawal of Collective Security Treaty Organisation forces from Kazakhstan will begin on Thursday, 13 January, Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said.
“Tomorrow the organised withdrawal of the CSTO peacekeeping contingent begins. I had negotiations with the leaders of the respective states. I would like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to the command of the contingent for the work done during these few days,” Tokayev told a response centre meeting.
He added that the mission has been successful and that the Kazakh forces managed to oust terrorists from Almaty thanks to the support of additional forces, including those sent by the CSTO.
On Tuesday, Tokayev said that the phased withdrawal of the united CSTO peacekeeping contingent "will take no more than 10 days.”
Earlier this month, when protests in Kazakhstan over a hike in fuel prices turned violent, Tokayev announced that he had asked partners in the CSTO to send a peacekeeping contingent amid fears that the government would lose control of Almaty. He said that the protests had been hijacked by "terrorist elements" seeking to topple the government.