BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 12
An organized withdrawal of the CSTO (Collective Security Treaty Organization) peacekeeping contingent from Kazakhstan will begin on January 13, the country’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said, Trend reports referring to his statement at a meeting of the operational headquarters in Almaty city.
“I had negotiations with the leaders of the respective states. Taking this opportunity, I would like to express my gratitude to the command of the contingent for the work done during these several days,” Tokayev noted. “The presence of the CSTO peacekeeping contingent in Kazakhstan, including Almaty, played a very important role in terms of stabilization of the situation in our country,” he emphasized.
“Of course, this had great psychological importance for repelling the aggression of terrorists and bandits. The mission is assessed as very successful," concluded the president.
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.