BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 10
The recent unfolding events in Kazakhstan eventually resulted in the peacekeeping forces of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) to be sent to Kazakhstan upon President Tokayev's appeal under the pretext of assisting in restoring law, order and protecting the strategic facilities of the country.
The peacekeeping forces sent to Kazakhstan include more than 4,000 servicemen from Russia, Belarus, Tajikistan and Armenia.
This decision caused the discussions even in the CSTO member-states. The CSTO contingent entered Kazakhstan illegally. This contradicts the CSTO charter, which raises questions.
“One of the points of the CSTO charter envisages assistance to the CSTO member-states by other members of the organization in case of any external military intervention,” Azerbaijani political analyst Tural Ismayilov told Trend.
“However, the situation in Kazakhstan is different and the arrival of a big CSTO contingent in Kazakhstan upon Tokayev’s appeal caused a great reaction in the international arena,” political analyst said. “In general, the events in Kazakhstan require a cool-headed approach”
“Kazakhstan is a socially stable country with a big territory, but relatively small population,” Ismayilov said. “How did the security forces fail to prevent the appearance of terrorists at local protests during such a short period of time?”
He stressed that Kazakhstan is one of the countries with a rather strong economic and political base.
“I think that this issue could have been resolved without addressing the CSTO and bringing its forces into the country,” Ismayilov said. “In any case, the special attention is paid to the actions of the CSTO contingent in Kazakhstan.”
The political analyst added that if brutality is shown towards people, it will resemble the arrival of criminal gangs of the USSR army in Baku on January 20, 1990.
“In general, after the establishment of social and political stability in Kazakhstan, the CSTO peacekeepers must leave the country, and then the second question arises,” Ismayilov said. “When will this happen?”
Editor-in-chief of "Baki xeber" (Baku news) newspaper, political expert Aydin Guliyev believes that while events in Kazakhstan must be perceived as an internal affair of this country, the decision related to the CSTO’s intervention leads to the consequences that contradict the principles of Kazakhstan's sovereignty.
“Of course, the events in Kazakhstan have internal social, economic and political reasons and this played a certain role in the emergence of internal tension,” Guliyev told Trend.
The editor-in-chief added that it is also known that as Kazakhstan holds a very important geopolitical position and has huge resources, a clash of interests of various world powers was obvious here.
“Although certain world forces intend to take advantage of the ongoing processes in this country, this shouldn't be a reason for the CSTO leadership to deploy military forces in a sovereign country,” Guliyev said.
“It is also noteworthy that the decision of bringing the military forces of the CSTO into sovereign Kazakhstan was made during the presidency of Armenia in the Security Council of this organization,” Guliyev added.
The editor-in-chief said that this decision of Armenia, which lost the war with Azerbaijan, during which a year ago Kazakhstan also expressed active political support, testifies to the likelihood that the CSTO has become an instrument of revenge against a Turkic country.
“The Armenian leadership seems to be taking revenge on Kazakhstan by influencing the process of making such a decision,” Guliyev said. “The military intervention of the CSTO dealt a great blow to the international prestige of Kazakhstan, which has grown greatly in recent years.”
“Instead of military intervention, the CSTO was supposed to observe till a peaceful dialogue between the protesters and the authorities of Kazakhstan is held,” the editor-in-chief said.
“For the first time in its history, the CSTO referred in an incorrect form to Article 4 of its own charter,” Guliyev said. “Sending the forces into Kazakhstan will remain in the history of the CSTO as a step for which it will have to bear the biggest responsibility.”
“Over the past year, we have witnessed that Armenia for the first time tried to turn the CSTO into an instrument of revenge and punishment against Azerbaijan, but this attempt failed,” the editor-in-chief said.
The editor-in-chief said that the policy of turning the CSTO into a punitive mechanism against the members of the organization accounted for the period of Armenia's chairmanship and Kazakhstan was chosen as the target.
“In fact, the military intervention into Kazakhstan’s affairs reduced the credibility of the CSTO,” Guliyev said. “The wrong decision of the CSTO related to Kazakhstan creates a dangerous precedent in the post-Soviet area. The next step of the CSTO in the post-Soviet area can lead to the destructive processes for its own prospects.”
Azerbaijani political analyst Ilyas Huseynov directly said that sending of CSTO troops into Kazakhstan was illegal.
“According to the organization's charter, the member-states unite on a military-political platform only for protection from external influence, occupation,” Huseynov told Trend.
The political analyst said that however, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev took this route because of the uncontrollable situation in the country.
“It is noteworthy that Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, performing the functions of the CSTO chairman, hastily held a special meeting to make such a decision,” Huseynov said. “I think that Pashinyan's decision serves to undermine the international authority of the CSTO.”
“Almaty was not chosen as the center of events by chance,” the political analyst said. “Almaty is considered the cultural capital of Kazakhstan.”
Huseynov said that on the other hand, gathering of the cultural elite here testifies to the fact that elements of social discontent were previously developed and put forward by political strategists.
“I think that these events will end soon, Kazakhstan’s statehood will come out of the crisis and enter a period of development,” Huseynov added.
Kazakhstan's government announced late Jan. 4 that it was restoring some price caps on liquefied petroleum gas, after the rare protests reached Almaty following a sharp rise in the price of the fuel at the start of the year.
Many Kazakhs have converted their cars to run on LPG, which is far cheaper than gasoline as a vehicle fuel in Kazakhstan because of price caps. But the government argued that the low price was unsustainable and lifted the caps on Jan. 1.
After the price of the fuel spiked, big demonstrations erupted on Jan. 2 in certain parts of the country. Public protests are illegal in the country unless their organizers file a notice in advance.
Following the development of the situation, the government declared a state of emergency all over the country. Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said the government initiated anti-terrorist operations to deal with the ongoing riots.
Also, the divisions of the united peacekeeping contingent of CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) arrived in Kazakhstan to assist in restoring order and help protect strategic objects of the country.