Politics, World

Russian, Kazakh presidents discuss unrest in Kazakhstan

In phone call with Putin, Tokayev proposes videoconference between CSTO leaders, says Kremlin

Elena Teslova   | 08.01.2022
Russian, Kazakh presidents discuss unrest in Kazakhstan


The Russian president and his Kazakh counterpart on Saturday discussed the latest situation in the Central Asian nation after massive countrywide protests claimed several lives and caused material damages.

In a phone call with Vladimir Putin, Kazakhstan's Kassym-Jomart Tokayev proposed that a videoconference be held between the leaders of Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) members in the coming days -- a suggestion backed by his Russian counterpart, the Kremlin said in a statement.

Thanking Russia and the other members of the CSTO for their support, the Kazakh president informed Putin of the developments in the country, noting that the situation was stabilizing, the statement added.

Putin voiced support for Tokayev's proposal and called Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan to discuss the situation, said another Kremlin statement.

Both Lukashenko and Pashinyan agreed, with the latter, as the current head of the CSTO, promising to arrange it, the statement added.

The protests in Kazakhstan broke out on Jan. 2, when drivers held demonstrations against an increase in liquefied petroleum gas prices (LPG) in the city of Zhanaozen in Mangystau. The protests later spread to Aktau city 135 kilometers (84 miles) west.

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.

So far, 4,266 people have been detained, including nationals of neighboring countries, the country's interior minister said in a statement.

According to the Kazakh Interior Ministry, at least 18 security officers and 26 protesters have lost their lives during the ongoing unrest.

In response, Tokayev declared a state of emergency in the commercial capital Almaty and the oil-rich Mangystau region from where the protests spread to the rest of the country.

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