CSTO leaders discuss Kazakhstan situation in online meeting

Today (10 January), the CSTO Collective Security Council held an extraordinary online meeting at the request of Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to discuss "measures to resolve the situation in the Republic of Kazakhstan."

The conference was attended by the presidents of Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, the prime ministers of Armenia and Kyrgyzstan, and the Secretary General of the CSTO, Stanislav Zas. 

In his opening speech, Tokayev began by thanking the Armenian prime minister, Nikol Pashinyan, for his work as chairman of the council, and the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, “for his understanding and prompt resolution of the issue of sending a CSTO peacekeeping contingent to Kazakhstan”.

He called the attacks by protestors a “real terrorist war”, which required the use of unprecedented measures, and praised the swift deployment of the roughly 2000 CSTO troops. 

Secretary-General Zas also highlighted the effectiveness of the CSTO’s response, noting that “one can definitely draw one, the most important conclusion: the peacekeeping potential and the mechanism for its use that has been created in our organization, it really works and is capable of fulfilling the assigned tasks.”

For his part, Putin said the deployment of troops showed that the alliance would not allow governments to be overthrown: “The measures taken by the CSTO made it clear that we would not let anyone destabilize the situation at our home and implement so-called colour revolution scenarios”. He stressed that the operation would be suspended, and the entirety of the troops withdrawn as soon as the president of Kazkhastan deemed it possible, and after the mission had fulfilled all its functions. 

In his concluding speech, Pashinyan, re-iterated his commitment to strengthening the CSTO’s crisis response mechanisms, adding that he was particularly worried about “the involvement of international terrorist organisations”, given that Armenia had itself “not long ago encountered the emergence of foreign terrorists in our region”. 

source: commonspace.eu and agencies
photo: Pashinyan at the online CSTO meeting; Office of the prime minister of Armenia

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