Russian troops to stay to complete work in Kazakhstan, Putin says

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said on Monday that the recent unrest in Kazakhstan was caused by “destructive internal a...

MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir V. Putin said on Monday that the recent unrest in Kazakhstan was caused by “destructive internal and external forces” and that more than 2,000 troops his country had sent as “peacekeepers” would only leave. ‘once their mission is complete.

Mr. Putin said the troops would stay “for a limited period of time.” But he gave no deadline for a withdrawal, saying they would stay as long as President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan “deems necessary”, citing the possibility that they could be in the country indefinitely.

Mr. Putin’s comments, at a meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a NATO-equivalent body that includes six countries of the former Soviet Union, were its first since the unrest engulfed Kazakhstan last week, with widespread protests against rising gas prices that started peacefully and then turned violent.

The Russian president said the unrest was indicative of foreign attempts to intervene in an area the Kremlin considers its sphere of influence, and compared recent events to protests in Ukraine that led to the ouster of the pro-Russian president from the country in 2014. These protests also helped precipitate Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the invasion of the Donbass region in eastern Ukraine that year.

Mr Putin said the Collective Security Treaty Organization, widely seen as dominated by Russia, would not allow any “color revolution,” a term that has been used for pro-democracy movements that have swept away many. countries of the former Soviet Union.

“Elements of force and information in support of the demonstrations” recalling the demonstrations in Ukraine, which the Kremlin has long maintained were organized by foreign anti-Russian powers, “Were actively used, and well-organized and well-controlled militant groups were also used,” Putin said. He added that people “apparently trained in terrorist camps abroad” were among the rioters.

At least 5,800 people have been arrested and more than 2,000 injured after days of violence last week in Kazakhstan.

Mr Tokayev, the country’s president, said at the same alliance meeting that he had resisted “an attempted coup” in which “armed militants” sought to use the weapons. protests as a pretext.

“The main objective was obvious: the undermining of constitutional order, the destruction of government institutions and the seizure of power,” he said.

It is difficult to assess the situation inside Kazakhstan, which has been largely cut off from the outside world, and neither Mr. Putin nor Mr. Tokayev have provided any evidence for their claims.

Comments came as American and Russian diplomats meeting in Geneva in the hope of negotiating a withdrawal of the 100,000 troops that the Kremlin has positioned on the border with Ukraine These last months.

Mr Putin said Russia’s decision to send troops to the “fraternal Kazakh people” – the first time the 20-year-old Collective Security Treaty Organization had activated its mutual defense clause – was ” extremely timely and absolutely legitimate ”.

Mr. Tokayev’s decision to invite foreign troops to help quell the unrest was a sign of his internal weakness and internal power struggles, many analysts have said. This resource-rich Central Asian country is likely to come closer to Russia and make Mr Tokayev dependent on Moscow for his continued power.

Kazakh officials said on Sunday that order had been restored and that foreign troops would “probably” be gone the following week.

But Russia has a habit of sending “peacekeepers” who do not leave. The troops he sent three decades ago to the breakaway region of Moldova and the Abkhazia region of Georgia remain there.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Russian troops to stay to complete work in Kazakhstan, Putin says
Russian troops to stay to complete work in Kazakhstan, Putin says
Newsrust - US Top News
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