In light of the crisis in Kazakhstan, according to the Kremlin, Russian President Vladimir Putin had a long phone call with the Kazakh head of state KassymShomart Tokayev. Putin supports Tokayev’s proposal to hold a video summit in the coming days with heads of state and government of a Russian-led military coalition, according to a message from the Kremlin today.
After severe unrest, Tokayev asked for help from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), which also includes Armenia, Belarus, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. According to the coalition, about 2,500 foreign soldiers were to be sent to the former Soviet Central Asian Republic.
Lukashenko also shared
Belarus Governor Alexander Lukashenko also spoke to Tokayev this morning by phone. In addition, according to the Kremlin, Putin and Lukashenko also spoke with each other. A year and a half ago, Lukashenko, referred to as “Europe’s last dictator,” even peaceful mass protests critical of the government were brutally suppressed.
Kazakhstan, which borders Russia and China, has been experiencing the worst riots in years for days. Discontent over rising fuel prices at gas stations has turned into protests against the government. Tokayev dismissed the government, declared a state of emergency, and asked for help from a Russian-led military coalition. Above all, his order to shoot protesters caused international panic. According to official information, more than 40 deaths have already occurred.
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Karim Masimov was arrested on suspicion of high treason. Masimov was recently the head of the National Security Committee (KNB).