Asia - Pacific

Uzbek, Kazakh presidents discuss ongoing protests in Kazakhstan

2 leaders exchange views on early restoration of peace, tranquility in Central Asian country

Bahtiyar Abdulkerimov   | 06.01.2022
Uzbek, Kazakh presidents discuss ongoing protests in Kazakhstan

TASHKENT, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan's president on Thursday spoke to his Kazakh counterpart and discussed the latest unrest in Kazakhstan triggered by a huge increase in liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices.

According to a statement by the office of Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the two leaders exchanged views on the developments in Kazakhstan and expressed the need for stability in the country and the restoration of peace and tranquility as soon as possible.

In his conversation with Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Mirziyoyev also reiterated his support to the people and government of Kazakhstan in their efforts to ensure stability and prosperity.

Situation in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan's Interior Ministry announced on Wednesday that more than 200 people were detained for disrupting public order during demonstrations that erupted across the country Tuesday.

The ministry said 37 police vehicles had been damaged, 95 officers injured, and one car torched during the protests.

Police remain deployed on the streets of Almaty, Kazakhstan's largest city, where massive rallies were held.

Holding the government responsible for the protests launched against a recent hike at LPG prices, Tokayev on Wednesday approved the resignation of Prime Minister Askar Mamin and his ministers.

As protests spread across the country, Tokayev declared a state of emergency in the city of Almaty and the oil-rich Mangystau region in the west from Jan. 5-19 to maintain public security. He also imposed a curfew in Almaty, the country’s former capital, where thousands of people had taken to the streets.

While police used stun grenades and teargas to disperse the protesters, they responded with stones. Clashes were also reported between the police and demonstrators.

The government has also restricted access to social media applications, including Facebook and Telegram.

The protests broke out on Jan. 2 when drivers held demonstrations against an increase in LPG prices in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau, which later spread to Aktau city.

Supportive protests in the western cities of Atyrau, Aktobe, and Oral, where the country’s petroleum and natural gas reserves are located, spread to other areas of Kazakhstan to turn into countrywide public demonstrations.

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