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NATO ‘concerned’ about situation in Kazakhstan

Jens Stoltenberg calls for end to violence, respect for human rights amid unrest in Kazakhstan

Agnes Szucs   | 07.01.2022
NATO ‘concerned’ about situation in Kazakhstan

BRUSSELS

NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg Friday expressed concern about the situation in Kazakhstan and called for an end to the violence.

“NATO is following the situation in Kazakhstan very closely. We are concerned, we regret the loss of lives,” Stoltenberg told reporters following the extraordinary virtual meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

“It is important that violence ends, and that human rights are respected, including the rights of peaceful demonstration and freedom of expression,” he added.

Ahead of next week’s key diplomatic events between NATO allies and Russia, NATO top diplomats discussed the Russian military buildup in and around Ukraine, as well as the two draft treaties on European security proposed by Moscow during their meeting.

Protests against the increase of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) prices have grown into massive riots across Kazakhstan over the past week.

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

In response, President Kassym-Jomart 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.

Tokayev said he ordered security services to shoot to kill those he called “terrorists,” accusing them of continued violence.

He also approved the resignation of the government and requested support from the Collective Security Treaty Organization, a Eurasian alliance of former Soviet states.

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